Jack Wilson Lilley
Jack Wilson Lilley
  • February 20, 1923 - February 15, 2010
  • Mississippi

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Jack was born February 20, 1923, to John Benjamin and Jessie Costello Lilley at the family home in the Tinnin community north of Clinton where he lived until his death. In this home, he and his wife, Emelyn Weissinger Lilley, lived and raised their four sons, Jack Wilson Lilley, Jr., John Weissinger Lilley, Frank Eugene Lilley, and George Benjamin Lilley. Jack was the proud grandfather of seven and the great-grandfather of five, all of whom lovingly referred to him as "Tease."

Jack attended Clinton High School and Hinds Community College where he excelled in both football and basketball. He left college early, forfeiting a football scholarship, to save the family farm which his mother had tried to keep running after his father's death when Jack was five. In the fall of 1943, Jack joined the United States Navy. After serving as a 20 millimeter gunner on a Landing Craft Support (Large) in WWII, he returned to the family farm and quickly re-established himself in the community. Affectionately called "Mr. Jack" by many in Tinnin, he was known as the person to go to for any kind of assistance no matter the time of day or night.

Through the years, Jack became respected for his expertise in farming and conservation. In 1958 he was selected Mississippi's Young Farmer of the Year. He served on numerous agricultural and conservation committees at both the local and state levels. For thirty years, Jack served as chairman of the board for Hinds County Soil and Water Conservation District, and later he was elected president of the board for Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Other leadership positions included chairman of the board for Federal Land Bank Association, FHA, and ASCS. He was a founding member and secretary of the North Hinds County Water Association.

An active member of First United Methodist Church of Clinton until his illness, Jack served in various capacities including the Board of Stewards and president of United Methodist Men. He was also a former member of the Board of Trustees of Clinton Schools.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents; his eldest son, Jack; and his three siblings, John Benjamin Lilley, Jr., Miriam Wade Lilley Puckett, and Julia Margaret Lilley Barlow.

Jack is survived by his wife of sixty-six years, Emelyn; his sons John, Frank, and Ben; and daughters -in- law, Marilyn, Mamie, and Mickey, all of Clinton. Other survivors include his grandchildren, Emelyn Lilley McBrayer (Chris), Frank Eugene "Smith" Lilley, Jr. (Jessica), George Benjamin Lilley, Jr. (Mayume), Jack Brummett Lilley, Dell Lilley Sturdivant, Johnelyn Lilley, and Jessie Lille; and his great-grandchildren, Will McBrayer, Lilley McBrayer, Gunnar Sturdivant, Maia Lilley, and George Benjamin Lilley, III. He also leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 5 P.M. until 8 P.M. today at Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home in Clinton. A second visitation will begin one hour prior to the 2 P.M. funeral service at First United Methodist Church in Clinton on Thursday, February 18, 2010. Interment will follow at the Tinnin Community Cemetery.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to First United Methodist Church, 100 Mt. Salus Drive, Clinton, MS 39056, the American Lung Association, or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital .