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Billy Lilly '57 September 22, 2023 2:31 PM updated: September 22, 2023 2:44 PM

Billy James Lilly, DVM 

April 25, 1931 - June 4, 2023 

Dr. Billy (Bill) James Lilly, DVM, a dedicated loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend, passed away on June 4, 2023, peacefully at his home in Plano, Texas. He was born on April 25, 1931, in Bangs, Texas to Mary Louise (nee Lovelace) and Cameo Lilly.

He attended Tarleton State and Sam Houston State Universities prior to joining the U.S. Coast Guard and served during the Korean War. Upon being discharged from the Coast Guard, he attended Texas A&M University and graduated with a degree in Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

He and his family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in the early 1960's where he established 2 successful clinics and specialized in Small and Exotic animals; caring for the animals at the Las Vegas Zoo, Circus Circus as well as the show cats of Siegfried and Roy. He served as President of the Nevada Veterinary Association and was appointed to the Nevada State Board of Veterinary Medicine Examiners.

In 1976, Bill and his family moved to Dallas where he opened 3 clinics. After 15 years in Dallas, he retired from fulltime practice and began work as a Veterinary Technical Representative for the IAMS pet food company for an additional 13 years. He continued to practice as a relief veterinarian in the Dallas/Plano area until, after 50 years of practice, he retired his license for fulltime retirement. Never one for sitting idle, after retiring, Bill took up gardening. The scientist in him needed to know how plants grow and how to best care for them which led to him obtaining his Master Gardening certificate in 2011 and he became a member of the Collin County Master Gardeners. He became interested in insects and photographed and catalogued numerous insects found in Meyers Park. He developed a PowerPoint program so that others could easily identify insects.

Bill had always been an outdoorsman and he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends hunting, fishing, golfing and skiing. He especially enjoyed summer vacations in Pagosa Springs, CO where his children and grandchildren would join him for fishing in the San Juan River. Bill left a lasting impression on everyone he met, and he practiced what he preached: Be kind and do good for others. Bill was extremely generous in all aspects of his life and never missed an opportunity to take care of someone. He taught his children a strong work ethic, which they carry on in themselves to this day. His memory will live on in the hearts of his family and many friends.

Along with his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his brother, Gene Lilly. He is survived by his beloved wife, Luta (Lu); daughters Tracy Lilly, Anne Lilly Hagen (Jamie); sons, Thomas Burnet Lilly, Dr. James Francis Lilly (Angela); two stepdaughters: Melissa Eastman, Debbie Gilstrap; and 7 grandchildren.

The family would like to thank Care Plus Hospice and Abell Companions for their love and care of Bill and his family in his final days.

A celebration of Bill's life will be scheduled this Fall. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations may be made to the charity of your choice.

Ted Dickey West Funeral Home


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