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We Remember Janet Lillis

May 31, 1941 - January 22, 2018

As some of you already know, we lost longtime committeewoman and neighborhood leader Janet Lillis earlier this week to cancer. 

Her full and rich obituary can be read here:

The Rosary will be prayed on Friday the 26th at 5pm followed by visitation with the family from 5:30 to 8:00pm at St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church (2 East 75th St. KCMO).  Mass will be Saturday the 27th at 10:00am at St. Elizabeth's and interment will be at Mount St. Mary's cemetery.

Janet was born on May 31, 1941 to Cedric and Virginia (Byrne) Tucker in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1959 she graduated from Notre Dame de Sion High School having attended both the upper and lower school. She married her high school sweetheart, Mike Lillis, after he “sealed the deal” by introducing her to, then senator, John F. Kennedy. From that point on Janet’s life was all about faith, family, friends and the Democratic Party. She and Mike raised their five children to remember “the more the merrier,” to always make room at the table for expected and unexpected guests alike. Janet welcomed any reason to gather with loved ones and any occasion was a reason to decorate and celebrate. For the last forty years Janet hosted a Mass and Open House on Christmas Eve and all were welcome. The McGee Family Reunion was under Janet’s direction for over forty years, making Janet an integral part of the family she married into.

Janet knew no strangers. She was quick to pick up the phone and reach out to help others. Her house was warm and often full of people invited in to eat or celebrate or watch sports or cook together or plan events. She loved talking on the phone. She loved to check in with people to make sure they knew someone was thinking about them. Janet loved to keep up with the news and weather of the day and always offered an ear for what needed to be shared or lighten any load to bear. Janet was not only a good listener she also had valuable advice to share. She was loved and valued by all who counted her as a friend and confidant.

A proud, life-long Democrat, Janet served as the 9th Ward Committeewoman for about 30 years. The Jackson County Democrat Committee awarded her the 2008 Harry S Truman award. She loved all things political and created a remarkable collection of political buttons and artifacts. The number of her campaign yard signs were legendary, leading people to say they just, “vote the Lillis yard.” Janet worked every election and even volunteered when the 1976 Republican National Convention was held in Kansas City. A visit with Janet Lillis was de rigeur for most aspiring politicians in the area.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the T. Michael and Janet Lillis Scholarship at Rockhurst High School or the Timothy P. Lillis Scholarship at St. Thomas Aquinas High School.