Obituary: Joan Lilly – Cherished Mother, Adored Grandmother 2024

Joan Lilly: A Life of Service, Adventure, and Accomplishment

Joan Lilly: A Life of Service, Adventure, and Accomplishment

Joan Margaret Lilly, a pioneering healthcare executive, dedicated genealogist, and loving grandmother, passed away peacefully on December 5, 2023, at the age of 80. Her life was a testament to her indomitable spirit, unwavering passion, and unwavering commitment to making the world a better place.

Early Life and Education

Joan was born on February 15, 1943, in Waukegan, Illinois. She pursued her education in Illinois, where she earned a teaching degree and taught High School before embarking on a glamorous turn as a flight attendant for TWA in the 1960s.

Healthcare Career and Achievements

After leaving the airline industry to raise her children, Joan transitioned into the field of healthcare management, where she made an indelible mark. She began her journey at Northridge Hospital as a patient advocate, but quickly rose through the ranks to become the President/CEO of the hospital’s foundation.

Under Joan’s leadership, the Northridge Hospital Foundation flourished. In 1986, Joan’s dedication was honored with the grand prize for overall excellence and achievement in hospital development by the National Association for Hospital Development (NAHD). Two years later, she reached the pinnacle of recognition as an NAHD fellow, the highest level of recognition and achievement in healthcare development.

Joan’s reputation for excellence preceded her, and in 1989, she was recruited to become the President/CEO of the Enloe Hospital Foundation in Chico, California. Nationally recognized, she held numerous elected and appointed positions and was a sought-after consultant and lecturer. Joan played a pivotal role in shaping healthcare policies and was a speaker at the inaugural “White House Conference on Responding to the Healthcare Consumer.”

Genealogy and Retirement

Beyond her professional achievements, Joan had a deep passion for exploring her family’s genealogy. Upon retiring from Enloe Hospital, she took her dream trip to England and Ireland, tracing her roots back to ancestral towns.

Joan settled in the state of Nevada, where she remained active in politics, locally and nationally. But perhaps Joan’s proudest accomplishment was being a devoted grandmother to her five granddaughters: Zoe (25), Eve (23), Phoebe (23), Ella (21), and Addison (11).

Legacy and Remembrance

Joan Lilly’s legacy will live on through her countless contributions to the healthcare field, her unwavering dedication to her family, and her passionate pursuit of her dreams. She will be remembered as a trailblazer, a philanthropist, and a loving grandmother who made the world a better place for all who knew her.

Joan is survived by her children, Margo Childress Baxter, Craig Childress, Jeanette Lilly Blanks, and Brad Lilly; her son-in-laws Peter Baxter and Peter Blanks; her daughter-in-law Heidi Hawkins; her siblings David Dietrich, Mary Kay O’Meara, Clare Hartmann, Mark Dietrich, and Patricia Zettek. She was predeceased by her parents Patricia and Monroe Dietrich, her brother Dan Dietrich, her ex-husband, Robert Craig Childress, and her husband George Lilly.

A celebration of life will take place in her beloved Illinois in June 2024.