Barbara grew up in a row house in Philadelphia with her mother, father, beloved brother Bill and her dog “Buster.”
After graduating from Frankfurt High School, she worked and became involved in local theatre.
She met her husband, Lloyd Lillie, at a dance in Convention Hall on the boardwalk in Cape May NJ where both families vacationed. She was 17 and he was 20. They married two years later and were together for 67 years. She was often the backbone of Lloyd’s many projects and she loved to do research for his public commissions
As a young adult she became very involved in social justice and held strong political views. She was actively involved in a fair housing group, a pre-curser to the METCO program, anti-war organizations and other political groups. She loved to learn in general which inspired her to attend Boston University as a middle-age woman, graduating together with her oldest daughter, Nina, and her son, Warren.
Barbara was a dedicated and devoted wife. She had an incredible green thumb and was passionate about her plants and gardens. On her often brisk daily walks around Newton (which earned her the nickname “the roadrunner”), she occasionally stopped to pull weeds from public areas and other people’s gardens.
Barbara loved to travel. She and Lloyd spent a year together in Florence, and returned to Italy many times throughout their lives. She enjoyed speaking fluent Italian with Lloyd, especially when she wanted to talk about her children and grandchildren knowing that they wouldn’t be able to understand her. Barbara and Lloyd also traveled to Amsterdam, France, Greece and many other countries, where they maintained long lasting friendships.
Barbara was a wonderful grandmother to Lillie Rundlett, Sam and Cassie Taylor, and fully embraced the time she had with them. She taught them to be social activists like herself, how to find wonder in nature, and how to love books and reading. When complimented on her influence on these grandchildren she replied by saying, “it’s only because I get to drop them off at the end of the day.”
Whether it was chasing them along the beach doing her best pterodactyl impression, walking the “boards” in Cape May with them, or cuddling with them during a sleepover. Having learned to cook in Italy, she became a celebrated hostess, as the many dinner party and holiday guests can attest to. It was widely agreed that hers was the “Best Spread” on New Year’s Eve.
Barbara leaves behind her three grandchildren named above, a daughter and son-in-law Lisa and Tim Taylor, and a second daughter and son-in-law Nina and Bruce LeDoyt. In addition, a daughter-in-law Coleen Lillie Smith, a nephew and niece from the Bailey side, Chris and Jennifer, and a nephew and niece from the Lillie side, John Scanlan and Mary Pershing. Barbara also leaves many former neighbors and friends who sustained her throughout her lifetime.
Donations can be made to the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk
#1007995, P.O. Box 3595 Boston Ma 02224-3595
A private burial will be held for the family at the Mount Auburn Cemetery.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara (Bailey) Lillie, please visit our floral store.