Rufus C. Lilley, Jr.



Preferred Name:
RC

Nickname/Call Sign:

Date of Birth: 1931 (September 15, 2019)

Highest Military Grade Held: Lieutenant Colonel

Hometown: Churchland, VA

Biography

Rufus “RC” Lilley, flew for the USAF in different capacities until May of 1993. He was also a commercial pilot with Eastern Airlines, which he joined in September of 1966. With EAL he flew the CV440, L188, numerous models of the DC-9 and numerous models of the B-727. His last 3 years with EAL was as “check airman” as well as “line pilot”. He retired from EAL in March 1990.
RC also worked for the Federal Aviation Administration from September 1958 through November 1962 as an Air Traffic Controller. During this time, he also flew in the VAANG. From November 1962 through September 1966 he was a Facilities Flight Check Pilot also still flying with the ANG. From September 1990 through May 1994 he was an Aviation Safety Inspector (pilot).
LtCol Rufus C. Lilley, Jr. retired from the USAF in 1993. During his aviation career, Rufus accumulated more than 16,500 hours of flight time.

Units Assigned

  • 1/1953-4/1954 Flight Training (PA-18, T-6, T-28, T-33)
  • 5/1954-8/1954 Pilot training Nellis AFB, NV (F-86)
  • 9/1954-4/1957 – 417th Fighter Bomber Squadron, Major “Chuck” Yeager’s first squadron command, Germany/France (F-86F/H)
  • 4/1957-11/1958 Joined Virginia Air National Guard (VaANG) (B-26)
  • 11/1958-11/1960 Joined DCANG, Washington, DC (F-86H, F-100C)
  • 10/1961-8/1962 DCANG called to active duty over the “Berlin Crisis” (F-100)
  • 8/1962 – Released from active duty and back to “Guard” status
  • 8/1962-3/1964 DCANG (F-100C)
  • 3/1965-1972 Rejoined VAANG, Flight training instructor (F-84F)
  • 1972 USAF Reserve
  • 5/1993 Retired USAF

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

PA-18
T-6
T-28
T-33
F-86 F/H
F-100 C
B-26
F-84F
Civilian
CV440
L188
DC-9
B-727
Flight Hours: 16,500+
Wall of Honor Location: Foil: 8 Panel: 3 Column: 4 Line: 48
Wall of Honor Level: Air and Space Friend
Dedicated Panel: F86 Sabre Pilots Association

Military Education

Civilian Education

  • Churchland High School
  • Ferrum College
Rufus Clinton Lilley, Jr. Headed West September 15, 2019
Rufus “RC” Lilley passed away at the age of 88 on September 15, 2019 at his home surrounded by his family. R.C. was born in the Lilley farmhouse in Churchland, VA, to Minnie G. and Rufus C. Lilley. He was predeceased by siblings Ralph, James, and Chester Lilley.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Janet Warwick Lilley; his son, Bryan E. Lilley and wife Susan and their son Evan; daughter, Katherine L. Johnke and husband Jim and their sons Reid and Tim; and his sister, Eloise Holland. He is also survived by sister-in-law, Betty Ann Chapman and husband Art, as well as many nieces and nephews.
RC was a graduate of Churchland High School and Ferrum College. He had a long career in aviation, which included flying fighters in the US Air Force, the DC Air National Guard, the VA Air National Guard, as well as serving in the Air Force Reserves, retiring in 1991 as Lieutenant Colonel. He held several positions with the Federal Aviation Administration and retired as Captain with Eastern Airlines. He was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church, the Super Sabre Society, the F-86 Sabre Pilots’ Association, and the Air Line Pilots Association.
RC’s sense of humor and selflessness, combined with his love for his family and proud service to his country, pervaded his life. He treated each person he encountered with respect and empathy. His family life was abundant with love, adventures, and joy. He touched the lives of many and will be sorely missed.
A memorial service will be held at Centenary United Methodist Church on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 11 AM. Memorial contributions may be made to Centenary United Methodist Church, 3312 Cedar Lane, Portsmouth, VA 23703, or to the International Myeloma Foundation, 12650 Riverside Drive, Suite 206, North Hollywood, CA 91607-3466.Loving Funeral Home is handling the arrangements and online condolences may be made at www.LovingFuneralHome.com.

Published in The Virginian Pilot on Sept. 18, 2019

Biography

Biography

Rufus “RC” Lilley, flew for the USAF in different capacities until May of 1993. He was also a commercial pilot with Eastern Airlines, which he joined in September of 1966. With EAL he flew the CV440, L188, numerous models of the DC-9 and numerous models of the B-727. His last 3 years with EAL was as “check airman” as well as “line pilot”. He retired from EAL in March 1990.
RC also worked for the Federal Aviation Administration from September 1958 through November 1962 as an Air Traffic Controller. During this time, he also flew in the VAANG. From November 1962 through September 1966 he was a Facilities Flight Check Pilot also still flying with the ANG. From September 1990 through May 1994 he was an Aviation Safety Inspector (pilot).
LtCol Rufus C. Lilley, Jr. retired from the USAF in 1993. During his aviation career, Rufus accumulated more than 16,500 hours of flight time.

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 1/1953-4/1954 Flight Training (PA-18, T-6, T-28, T-33)
  • 5/1954-8/1954 Pilot training Nellis AFB, NV (F-86)
  • 9/1954-4/1957 – 417th Fighter Bomber Squadron, Major “Chuck” Yeager’s first squadron command, Germany/France (F-86F/H)
  • 4/1957-11/1958 Joined Virginia Air National Guard (VaANG) (B-26)
  • 11/1958-11/1960 Joined DCANG, Washington, DC (F-86H, F-100C)
  • 10/1961-8/1962 DCANG called to active duty over the “Berlin Crisis” (F-100)
  • 8/1962 – Released from active duty and back to “Guard” status
  • 8/1962-3/1964 DCANG (F-100C)
  • 3/1965-1972 Rejoined VAANG, Flight training instructor (F-84F)
  • 1972 USAF Reserve
  • 5/1993 Retired USAF

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

PA-18
T-6
T-28
T-33
F-86 F/H
F-100 C
B-26
F-84F
Civilian
CV440
L188
DC-9
B-727
Flight Hours: 16,500+
Wall of Honor Location: Foil: 8 Panel: 3 Column: 4 Line: 48
Wall of Honor Level: Air and Space Friend
Dedicated Panel: F86 Sabre Pilots Association

Military Education

Civilian Education

  • Churchland High School
  • Ferrum College
Photos
Headed West
Rufus Clinton Lilley, Jr. Headed West September 15, 2019
Rufus “RC” Lilley passed away at the age of 88 on September 15, 2019 at his home surrounded by his family. R.C. was born in the Lilley farmhouse in Churchland, VA, to Minnie G. and Rufus C. Lilley. He was predeceased by siblings Ralph, James, and Chester Lilley.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Janet Warwick Lilley; his son, Bryan E. Lilley and wife Susan and their son Evan; daughter, Katherine L. Johnke and husband Jim and their sons Reid and Tim; and his sister, Eloise Holland. He is also survived by sister-in-law, Betty Ann Chapman and husband Art, as well as many nieces and nephews.
RC was a graduate of Churchland High School and Ferrum College. He had a long career in aviation, which included flying fighters in the US Air Force, the DC Air National Guard, the VA Air National Guard, as well as serving in the Air Force Reserves, retiring in 1991 as Lieutenant Colonel. He held several positions with the Federal Aviation Administration and retired as Captain with Eastern Airlines. He was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church, the Super Sabre Society, the F-86 Sabre Pilots’ Association, and the Air Line Pilots Association.
RC’s sense of humor and selflessness, combined with his love for his family and proud service to his country, pervaded his life. He treated each person he encountered with respect and empathy. His family life was abundant with love, adventures, and joy. He touched the lives of many and will be sorely missed.
A memorial service will be held at Centenary United Methodist Church on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 11 AM. Memorial contributions may be made to Centenary United Methodist Church, 3312 Cedar Lane, Portsmouth, VA 23703, or to the International Myeloma Foundation, 12650 Riverside Drive, Suite 206, North Hollywood, CA 91607-3466.Loving Funeral Home is handling the arrangements and online condolences may be made at www.LovingFuneralHome.com.

Published in The Virginian Pilot on Sept. 18, 2019

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