Rufus Clinton Lilley, Jr. passed away at the age of 88 on September 15, 2019 at his home surrounded by his family. R.C. was born in the Lilley farmhouse in Churchland, VA, to Minnie G. and Rufus C. Lilley. He was predeceased by siblings Ralph, James, and Chester Lilley.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Janet Warwick Lilley; his son, Bryan E. Lilley and wife Susan and their son Evan; daughter, Katherine L. Johnke and husband Jim and their sons Reid and Tim; and his sister, Eloise Holland. He is also survived by sister-in-law, Betty Ann Chapman and husband Art, as well as many nieces and nephews.
RC was a graduate of Churchland High School and Ferrum College. He had a long career in aviation, which included flying fighters in the US Air Force, the DC Air National Guard, the VA Air National Guard, as well as serving in the Air Force Reserves, retiring in 1991 as Lieutenant Colonel. He held several positions with the Federal Aviation Administration and retired as Captain with Eastern Airlines. He was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church, the Super Sabre Society, the F-86 Sabre Pilots' Association, and the Air Line Pilots Association.
RC's sense of humor and selflessness, combined with his love for his family and proud service to his country, pervaded his life. He treated each person he encountered with respect and empathy. His family life was abundant with love, adventures, and joy. He touched the lives of many and will be sorely missed.
A memorial service will be held at Centenary United Methodist Church on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 11 AM. Memorial contributions may be made to Centenary United Methodist Church, 3312 Cedar Lane, Portsmouth, VA 23703, or to the International Myeloma Foundation, 12650 Riverside Drive, Suite 206, North Hollywood, CA 91607-3466.Loving Funeral Home is handling the arrangements and online condolences may be made at www.LovingFuneralHome.com
Published by The Virginian-Pilot on Sep. 18, 2019.