Melvin Duane Lilly

Melvin Duane Lilly, 77, of Charlotte, Michigan, passed away peacefully April 20, 2024, surrounded by family.  He was born on June 19, 1946, in Lansing, the son of Harry and G. Esther (Warner) Lilly.  Duane graduated from Charlotte High School with the Class of 1964. While in high school, he was actively involved in FFA where he served as the reporter, and in his senior year, the chapter’s Vice President.

At a young age, he held down two jobs, working at Barker Building of Mulliken during the day and General Motors in the evening.  Duane was a lifelong farmer and a 38-year General Motors Machinist at Fisher Body Lansing.  His real passion was farming, but he loved everything about nature, hunting, looking for mushrooms, and even cutting wood.  When he wasn’t outside you would find him in the barn tinkering on a project, manufacturing a part, or making repairs on fellow farmers’ equipment.

Duane was known for having a soft spot for the farm kittens, creating nicknames for family members, and socializing with anyone who happened to stop by.  On any given day, you might find him out on a crop tour around the neighborhood driving well below the speed limit or at an auction looking for a bargain.  He enjoyed finding deals whether it be at an auction, local garage sale, or out pawn shopping with his sons-in-law looking for any kind of bargain.  While most would have classified his special roadside finds as junk, he was reluctant to get rid of items that could be used for a future project.  Duane was sentimental, hard-working, willing to help others at the drop of a hat, and truly valued relationships with friends and family.

Duane is survived by his wife of 36 years, Susan (Roth); “The Kids”, Chanda (Lilly) and Todd Aves, Lorinda and Jim Frederick, Russell and Erika Bierschbach; grandchildren, Chloe, Claire, Megan Sue, Virginia Kate, James Brian, Christian, Julia, Chloe; brother, Doug Lilly; and his nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Darwin; infant sister, and nephew, Rob.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, at the Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home with Pastor Charles Jenson officiating. The family received friends on Tuesday at the funeral home. Burial will take place at West Carmel Cemetery.

Those desiring may make contributions in Duane’s memory to Eaton Community Palliative Care 2675 S. Cochran Road, Charlotte, MI 48813.
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