GIRARD - William R. Lileas Sr., 73, passed away peacefully at his daughter's home Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer and a decades-long struggle involving 28 major surgeries and chronic pain.
Bill was born March 4, 1947, in Youngstown, a son of the late Henry R. Sr. and Mary Graziane Lileas, and was a lifelong area resident.
Bill was a 1965 graduate of Ursuline High School and earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Science degree in education, with a focus in social work, from Youngstown State University, while working full time at General Motors. He retired from GM after "30 years and 30 seconds."
After retiring from GM, Bill put his big heart to work as a bereavement coordinator with hospice for 10 years. His senses of fun and compassion were on display during the time he spent as "Dreamer" with the Clown Ministry, and in his later years, he kept busy as a volunteer with The Primitive Heart.
He was a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps, serving in Vietnam from 1966-1967. Bill was a Purple Heart recipient and a member of Hotel Company 2/26. "Oo-raa!"
Bill greatly enjoyed music, especially that old time rock & roll, and was usually the life of the party, playing along to songs with his harmonica or grabbing anything handy to use as a guitar or microphone. He had a secret soft spot for animals and was a big Notre Dame fan. He liked Milky Ways and licorice, pizza and pasta, caramel cups and clothespin cookies, and Lorna Doones and coffee. He loved traveling, especially cruising, and visited many places including the OBX, Italy, the Caribbean, and a return trip to Vietnam in 2006, plus frequent road trips to Lake Erie. He loved the beach and The Big Apple. Most of all, Bill loved his family.
Bill leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of 51 years, Mary Rees Lileas, whom he married June 28, 1969; three children, his son, Bill Lileas Jr. of Girard, and Bill Jr.'s sons, Benjamin and Lukas, as well as their mother, Cathy Migliozzi; son, Joe (Melissa) Lileas of Lordstown and Joe and Melissa's daughter, Izabella; and "favorite daughter," Amanda Lileas of Liberty Township; four siblings, Tom (Diane) Lileas of Tipp City, Mike (Monica) Lileas of Canfield, Barb Morley of Girard and Mary (Mark) McGivern of Boardman; in-laws , Stephen, Julie (Dave) and David, all of Akron; 17 nieces and nephews; several great-nieces and great-nephews; cousin, Theresa Sherock, who went above and beyond, including making Bavarian cream pie; cousin, Joe (Rosemary) Antonucci, who was his best man; the "other Bill," William (Karen) Hartman; his USMC family, especially "Tall" Paul ("Flamingo" Pam) Minillo; and his gang from "the wall."
Bill's family is sure that he is celebrating a joyous reunion with his brother, Hank Lileas; his sister, Pat Lileas; his brother-in-law, Joe Morley; his niece, Beth Lileas; his mentor and friend, Michael Hoxsey; and his best friend, Joe Siciliano, who was KIA in Vietnam; and many others who preceded him in death, as well as his special-needs brother, Danny Lileas, of whom Bill was guardian for 20 years and who passed in June of this year.
Family and friends may call 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, at Kinnick Funeral Home 222 S. State St. Girard.
Funeral services will begin at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, at the funeral home and continue with a Mass of Christian burial, which will be celebrated at 11 a.m. at St. Rose Church, 48 E. Main St., Girard.
Please follow all current social distancing guidelines and health protocols when paying respects to the family and attending the church service, including the wearing of masks or face coverings. To those who cannot attend the visitation or service, or are uncomfortable doing so at this time, please keep Bill and his family in your thoughts and prayers. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which was Bill's favorite charity.
Graveside committal services with full military honors, including a 21-gun salute, will take place following the Mass, and will be at Calvary Cemetery in Youngstown.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105