Obituary: Ann Garrison Lillich

Grandmother, family woman, quilter, organist

Ann Garrison Lillich, resident of both Lake Hughes, California, and Arrowhead Ranch in Colorado, died March 25 surrounded by her children and grandchildren. She was 91.

Ann was born on October 26, 1931 to Edith and Chester Brown in Binghamton, New York. Her family moved often throughout her life eventually ending up in Springfield, Ohio.

As a young adult, she moved with her sister Pat to North Hollywood, California, where she became a member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church. At Emmanuel she met Ned Lillich. They married in 1961 and went on to have three children, Jenny, Stuart, and Tania. The church was central to their lives as they raised their family.

She was proud to spend her time caring for her family and pursuing her many passions. She made homemade bread before bread machines and before it was trendy. Most people who knew her (including every schoolteacher her children had) remember her gifts of homemade bread.

She was an avid seamstress, sewing her kids clothes for as long as they would allow. Eventually she took up quilting, spending many hours making quilts that would grace the beds and walls in her home.

She was an early member of the breastfeeding support group La Leche League during a time when nursing was still out of fashion. She was so grateful for the support she received from LLL that she became a LLL Leader and subsequently held many volunteer positions from producing newsletters to serving as area coordinator for Southern California. As a young mom in LLL she developed a dear group of friends who kept in touch through the years at their annual Christmas luncheons.

After Ned retired in the late 1980s, the couple built their dream home in the rural development of Arrowhead Ranch, Colorado. They split their time between their Colorado and California homes for decades, going back and forth several times throughout the year to spend time with their children’s families in California. Life in Colorado was blessed with a close community of friends and neighbors where she enjoyed regular exercise classes and book club meetings.

She was a lifelong musician and played piano from a young age. Eventually the organ became her instrument of choice. She played her entire adult life, mostly for her own enjoyment on her home organ. In her later years she played for church services at St. Stephens Lutheran in Palmdale, California, and Zion Lutheran Church in Montrose, Colorado.

Of all her many activities, her pride and joy was her family. Her three children and five grandchildren were what made her the most happy.

She was predeceased by her younger sister Barbara Martin and her husband of 60 years, Ned.

She leaves behind her sister, Pat Reitz; children Jenny Canfield, Stuart Lillich and Tania Mannion; grandchildren Kathryn Lillich, Karen Canfield, Linda Canfield, Bo (Melissa) Canfield, and Noah Mannion; and two Allen organs.

A celebration of life service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 10 at St. Stephens Lutheran Church of the Valley, 1737 E. Ave. R, Palmdale, CA 93550.


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