US Navy

William "Bill" Lilya

August 27, 1930 ~ October 24, 2020 (age 90)


William "Bill" Lilya, age 90 of Virginia and formerly of Soudan died Saturday, October 24, 2020 in Vermilion Senior Living. He was born August 27, 1930 in Soudan, the son of William and Julia (Jamnick) Lilya and was a graduate of Tower-Soudan High School. Bill served during the Korean Conflict as a plank owner of the U.S.S. Pickerel and was a part of a record-breaking submarine surfacing exercise off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, where the sub broke surface at a 48-degree up angle. He married Gayle Sjoberg on June 2, 1962 in St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Tower. Bill worked at U.S. Steel as an electrician and electrical foreman, and continued doing electrical work after retiring.  He enjoyed golfing, hunting, fishing and spending time with family.  Bill was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Virginia, an active member of The Northern Club and enjoyed making potato sausage and pasties with fellow club members.

          Bill is survived by sister: Rosemary Pecha; sons: Scott and Amy (Verbick) Lilya of Chaska and Michael and Stacy (Speed) Lilya of Blaine; grandchildren: Molly, Andrea, Joseph, Lindsay, and Landon; numerous nieces and nephews, extended family and friends.

          He was preceded in death by parents: William & Julia; spouse: Gayle; and brothers: John (Burr) Lilya, Richard Lilya, and Paul Lilya

          A Memorial Mass at St. Martin’s Church will be planned for the summer of 2021, with inurnment in the Lakeview Cemetery in Tower.

          Family services provided by Bauman-Vermilion, A Bauman Family Funeral Home in Tower. To share condolences online, please see: .




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Services are to be announced

St. Martin's Catholic Church
107 N. 3rd Street
Tower, MN 55790

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