Melvin R. Lilly Jr. (May 16, 1953-September 23, 2021)
Melvin R. Lilly Jr. (Mel) was a longtime resident of Merced, CA. He passed away after a prolonged illness at the age of 68. Mel was born in Hertford, North Carolina on May 16, 1953, to the late Melvin R. Lilly, Sr., and Rosie Lilly.
Mel attended Perquimans High School in NC and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force soon after graduation. He trained as an air traffic controller and served overseas in Korea; Ramstein AB, Germany; and Alconbury RAF, Great Britain. Mel was also stationed stateside in Keesler AFB, MS; Seymour Johnson, NC; Cannon AFB, NM; and Travis AFB, CA. He retired with the rank of Master Sergeant (E-7) after serving 20 years.
It was at his last duty station Travis AFB, that he met his second wife Veronica. They were together for 33 years and had two great kids, Erik, and Lauren. He continued his strong work ethic on a second career as a California state correctional officer at VSPW Chowchilla, CA. He retired after 17 years. Mel was a hardworking and loving husband and father.
Mel was a prolific reader of action spy novels and anything with military plots. He enjoyed listening to R&B, Classic Soul, and Blues music. His favorite group was the Temptations. He loved to dance to swing, country, and salsa music. He stayed in great shape by weightlifting and playing basketball.
Mel is survived by his wife Veronica Lilly (Merced, CA), son Erik Lilly (Merced, CA), daughters: Tauna Gilchrist (Burlington, NC), Tyvonder Jones (Mebane, NC), Tesha Anderson (Burlington, NC), and Lauren Lilly (Seattle, WA); Mother Rosie Lilly (Elizabeth City, NC); Sisters: Connie Brown (Elizabeth City, NC) and Sheilah Bellamy (Capitol Heights, DC). He leaves behind thirteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
The Lilly Family would like to thank Hinds Hospice for expeditiously facilitating Mel’s transfer from the hospital to his home. A heartfelt of gratitude goes to case manager Tisha, nurse Lorena, health aide Luis, and family friend Jeannie for providing compassionate care. We are forever grateful to them.
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