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Virgil "Ed" Lilley '61 December 10, 2021 11:24 AM updated: December 10, 2021 11:29 AM

Virgil Edgar Lilley
October 17, 1939 - December 1, 2021

Virgil E. Lilley was born on October 17, 1939, in west Texas near Lubbock, where his family farmed. His father was Virgil Thodore Lilley, and his mother was Mary Agatha Wynn Lilley. The family moved to Lampasas in 1947, when he was only 8, and he has called this town home ever since. He grew up on the family farm outside Lampasas and went to school here, graduating in 1957, the year of the big flood.

After high school he attended Tarleton State College, which is now Tarleton University in Stephenville. He joined the ROTC there, then transferred to Texas A&M at College Station. He graduated in 1961 and went into the U.S. Army.

While he was in the Army, stationed at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, a buddy asked him to go to Austin on a blind date. It was a triple date, and as the girls were coming down the elevator, Ed said, "I get the tall one!" And he did! Laura Sue Parks was the tall one, and they married in 1964 in Goliad, Texas, where her family lived. They would enjoy life together for 57 years.

Next it was off to Germany and the life of the U.S. Army. The joke in the Army is that when you get stationed in Germany, you always come back with a clock or a child, or both. The Lilleys came back with a daughter, Heather, and several clocks. A couple of duty stations later, Stewart, their son, was born in Michigan. A few more years and a few more duty stations saw them in Pennsylvania, ready to retire. Ed wanted to come home to Lampasas in 1981 after retiring as a LTC from the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps. He had completed tours of duty in Korea, Texas, Germany, Michigan, Washington, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Vietnam, among others.

While managing the family ranch, he became active in civic activities, serving on the City Council and many city boards and committees. He also taught eighth grade Earth Science at Copperas Cove Junior High for eight years before being elected and serving two four-year terms as Lampasas County Judge. During his service as County Judge, he was proud to have spearheaded and overseen the restoration of the Lampasas County Courthouse.

Ed and Sue both retired to the ranch together in January 2007, where they enjoyed many activities associated with Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists.

Ed fought bravely against cancer for almost five years, eventually dying peacefully early in the morning of December 1, 2021, at Rollins-Brook Hospital in Lampasas.

Ed was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Wilma Faye Reeves, and her husband, Macel Reeves.

Ed is survived by his wife, Laura Sue Lilley of Lampasas, two sisters: Patsy Reichhardt, and brother-in-law Hal Reighhardt, of Shiner, Texas, and Dr. Lin Lilley of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Other family includes his daugher, Heather Foreman, and son-in-law, Mike Foreman, of Lampasas, his son Stewart Lilley and daughter-in-law Elizabeth Lilley, also of Lampasas, and two grandsons, Chris Foreman and Mikey Foreman, of College Station, Texas.

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