Posted on Sat, Dec 31, 2016
Prepast at 12:30 PM - Visitation at 1:30 PM - Memorial Mass on Sunday, January 1, 2017 at 2 PM
Lillian Cleo Lennix
Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
Lillian Cleo Lennix was delivered into the world on January 1, 1924 in Palmyra, North Carolina. The second oldest of fourteen children from Addie and James Vines, young Lillian understood immediately the value of duty, fierce determination, and educational rigor. By dint of her own efforts Lillian studied for two years at Cortez Peters Business School, and qualified for acceptance into Julliard School of Music. Relentless in her pursuit of learning, Lillian impressed upon her children the importance of scholarship, and the unquenchable thirst for knowledge has passed on from generation to generation. So, too, did she pass on her love of song, value of hard work, and a passion for charity. As a volunteer for the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Great Books, and Catholic Charities throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago, she spent a significant portion of her time helping those in need. Her candor, indomitable spirit, and incisive humor extended past loved ones and friends, converting strangers into life-long friends all over the world.
Lillian worked at Spiegel Headquarters in Chicago. For 30 years she also worked at St. Bride and Saint Lawrence rectories as a laundress--legendary for her precision and dependability. Her greatest labor, though, was motherhood.
After the untimely death of her husband, Harry Lennix Jr., she became homemaker, provider, and disciplinarian to four strong children: Larry Joseph, Michael Anthony, Lori Ann, and Harry III. She supported her children’s bold ambitions, and pushed them to great heights. Her unofficial jobs included singing gospel and country songs that resounded throughout their home, all while cooking up a batch of her famous greens, sewing, and engaging in heady conversations with friends.
She was proceeded in death by her husband, Harry Jr. (1966); her son, Larry Joseph Lennix (2010); her sisters: Inez Biggs (1999), Marjorie Peterson (1999), Addie Horton (Peaches, 2015), Bessie Mae Arrington (2016), and Ella Gibson (2016); and her brothers: Howard Vines (1988), Charles Vines (1975), James Vines, Jr. (1983), Cleveland Vines, and Clover Phillips.
People who knew Lillian—also known as “Tiger Lil,” “Lilly,” “Lil Sis,” and a host of other nicknames—describe her as loving, obstinate, candid, devout, inspirational, and possessed of an impish wit that was unparalleled. Lillian was often seen blowing kisses, belting out songs out of tune, working crossword puzzles, eating fruit, and laughing until she cried. As a dutiful and loving mother, her chief motivation was her children—she lived for them; everything she did, she did for her family.
Lillian is survived by three of her children: Michael (Rosa), Lori, and Harry (Djena); her sisters Josephine McFarland and Claudette Vines; and her brother Clarence Vines, Sr. She has a plethora of beautiful grandchildren: Rosa Dunkley (Eugene), Chenoa Lennix, Joyce Lennix, Larry Lennix, Jr., Crystal G. Lennix, Michael Lennix, Jr., and Lysandra Lennix. She is also survived by her beautiful grandchildren, nieces, and nephews; all who were very near to her heart..