FLAT TOP — Keledge Berndel Lilly, 88, of Flat Top, died following a courageous battle with cancer on Saturday, November 9, 2013, at the Hospice Care Unit of the Beckley VA Hospital, where he received excellent care from Dr. Lilly, Dr. Boyd, Erma, the oncology staff, attending physicians, the critical care staff on 3rd floor and the 4th floor Residence Halls/Hospice care staff. Born March 10, 1925, at Dunns, he was the son of the late James William Lilly and Lessie Pearl Lilly Lilly.
Berndel was a graduate of Spanishburg High School and completed a two-year course in Mathematics, Engineering, Mechanics and Internal Combustion Engines from the International Correspondence School of Scranton, PA.
During World War II, Berndel served three years (1943-46) in the Navy on the USS 1024 LST and was discharged with a rank of Gunner’s Mate Second Class. He had the pleasure of seeing some of his shipmates at several reunions through the years.
Berndel was employed by Columbia Gas Transmission at the Flat Top Compressor Station and had 42 years of service upon retiring in 1989. He was a lifelong member of the VFW. Post 11075, Shady Spring, WV, and has been a member of the Masonic Lodge No. 132 AF & AM of Princeton since 1954. He was also a Scottish Rite Mason, 32nd degree Shriner of the Charleston, WV, chapter.
Favorite hobbies through the years were fishing, hunting and carpentry, a trade he learned while apprenticing with his father in his early years. He also was strongly involved in the Shawnee Parkway Association and served on Board of Directors of the Lilly Reunion Association since its formation in 1977. He held the office of Vice President of Grounds and Buildings. He faithfully attended the reunion at Flat Top every year and enjoyed fraternizing with “family and friends.” Berndel was of the Primitive Baptist faith.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Jackie Sowder Lilly; three brothers, Neville Lilly, James Lilly, Jr., and Denzel Lilly.
Survivors include one daughter, Sharon Kay Lilly Barnett and her husband Steve of Spanishburg; four sisters, Zelda Lilly Bone, presently at The Summit in Oak Hill, Eunice Lilly MacDonald of Loraine, OH, Iris Lilly Cooper and her husband Lawrence of Beckley and Serilla Lilly Dunn of Medina, OH; numerous nieces and nephews; special friend and Bingo partner, Bob Martin; and Mr. Cantrell’s daughter, Loretta, a special friend to Berndel and his daughter during his stay at the VA Hospital.
A graveside service to celebrate the life of Keledge Berndel Lilly will be conducted by the Princeton Masonic Lodge No. 134 AF & AM at 2 p.m. Tuesday, November 12, 2013, at the Reid Cemetery in Spanishburg where military honors will be provided by the Mercer County Veterans Honor Guard. Berndel’s Masonic brothers will serve as pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Berndel’s name to the Beckley VA Recreational Dept. c/o Beckley Veterans Medical Center, Attn: Robert Estepp, 200 Veterans Ave., Beckley, WV 25801. Berndel enjoyed the bingo, fishing trips, music entertainment, family dinners, trips to Wal-Mart for haircuts and the resulting camaraderie of socializing with fellow veterans from both 4th and 6th floors.
The family will receive friends Tuesday, November 12, 2013 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Bailey-Kirk Funeral Home in Princeton. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.bailey-kirk.com.