Marlan "Mike" Lilly

Marlan Arthur Lilly was born Jan. 25, 1934, in Adair County, Iowa, to Eileen Lilly (Bloom) and Leslie Lilly.  Mike entered into his eternal resting place on May 4, 2016, after a long and courageous battle with complications due to a heart valve replacement Jan. 12.

Mike grew up on his 80-acre family farm southeast of Greenfield, Iowa. He attended a country school near his home, where his mother and aunt taught at the school. He attended and graduated from Greenfield High School in 1953 and was a wrestler and of course worked tirelessly on the family farm during his high school years. He then learned the trade of automobile mechanics working at a service station in Greenfield and then operated his own business, a Skelly Station in Des Moines, Iowa. Mike’s primary life’s work (of over 50 years) was that of a skilled mason. He had a long running career as a brick and block layer primarily focused on new residential construction of basements, brick veneer houses and fireplaces. Mike was very particular about his work, running his own jobs, sharing jobs with several good friends and worked for the Adams Masonry Company for over 40 years. The last five plus years, he worked at JW Perry Wholesale Flowers and drove a flower delivery van (which he called his “jukebox”) all over the southern Iowa/Missouri area until January 2016.  He served in the Army from March 1956 through March 1958, followed by four years with the National Guard.

Mike enjoyed visiting and spending time with friends and at family gatherings. He was always ready for a good joke or story. He liked to bowl, waterski, ride motorcycles and attend as many of his children’s activities as possible throughout their lives. One of his favorite hobbies was NASCAR racing.  Mike was a stock car racing enthusiast for many years, attending weekly dirt track events all over the state of Iowa following the careers of several racers that he was friends with. He watched NASCAR events whenever possible and attended the Daytona 500 for 37 years in a row with the guys (as well as other NASCAR venues including Michigan Speedway). Mike enjoyed traveling to visit friends and family, especially in Colorado. He enjoyed the Iowa State Fair, as well as the Greenfield celebrations, including his high school reunions.

Those left to cherish his memory include, his wife, Marjorie of 60 years, of Des Moines; his children, Teresa (Hank) Bolton of Colorado Springs, Colo., Daryl (Tricia) Lilly of Winterset, Iowa, and Shawn Lilly of Des Moines; brother Walt Lilly of Lake Crystal, Minnesota; sister Becky (Bob) Hodge of Logan, Iowa; and many other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Les and Eileen Lilly; his parents-in-law, Ralph and Fern, McIntire; and brother Richard (Dick) Lilly.

Funeral service was May 10 at United Methodist Church in Greenfield with Pastor Chad Whitmore officiating.

Music was by pianist Janna Nelson and soloist Steve Siemens. Selections were “This Is The Time To Sing” and congregational hymn “How Great Thou Art.”

Pallbearers were Daryl Lilly, Shawn Lilly, Hank Bolton, Brian Sechrist, Brice Sechrist, Steve Siemens.

Interment was at Greenfield Cemetery. Full military graveside rites were conducted by Greenfield American Legion Head-Endres Post No. 265 and V.F.W. Post No. 5357.

The Steen Funeral Home in Greenfield was in charge of the professional arrangements. Online condolences may be left to the family at


Lawrence County Record

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