Montevallo residents pay final respects to postal worker, marine Derrick Lilly

Published 1:04 pm Thursday, February 29, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer 

MONTEVALLO – Residents along Montevallo’s Main Street took part in a display of condolences, respect and honor as they bid farewell to one of their own, Derrick A. Lilly, on the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 28.

Lilly, who had long been a member of the community, passed away last week on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

At the request of Lilly’s fellow postal workers at the Montevallo Post Office and with advanced notice delivered on social media by the city of Montevallo and the Montevallo Chamber of Commerce, city residents stood along Main Street to pay their respects as Lilly’s funeral procession travelled through town at around noon.

Some saluted and stood at attention while others placed hands over their hearts as they watched the procession depart from the Good Shepherd Funeral Home at 150 White Street and travel through Montevallo en route to the Alabama National Cemetery, where he was buried with military honors.

Lilly, who was born at Shelby Memorial in Alabaster in 1975, joined the United States Marine Corps straight after graduation from the Bibb County School system and served in the fifth Battalion of the 10th Marine Sierra Battery 5/10. During those years, Lilly operated as a field artillery cannoneer and was also designated as a riflemen sharp shooter.

“In 1996, he was honorably discharged as (a) lance corporal with a National Defense Service Medal, a good conduct medal, a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and a letter of appreciation,” read Lilly’s obituary.

Following his military service, Lilly would pursue a career with the United States Postal Service, where he began work as a sales service distribution associate at Montevallo’s post office on Oct. 20, 2001.

Over the next 22 years, Lilly became a familiar face in the community who was liked and respected among his coworkers, friends and those frequenting the post office.

Lilly, who was 48 years old, will see his legacy furthered through his wife of nearly 30 years, five sons, two daughters and a large extended family. He will also be remembered in kind by a long list of Marine Corps brothers and friends who have expressed their gratitude for the display of support from the community.