Darlene E. Lilja passed away peacefully surrounded by loving family on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020.
She was born on June 29, 1936 in Woodstock, Ill., the daughter of Thore and Hulda Emricson. She was married to her high school sweetheart, Milton E. Lilja, in Woodstock on Jan. 19, 1957. Darlene and Milton were married for nearly 64 years; they resided overseas and in multiple locations throughout Milton’s military career prior to settling in Colorado.
Darlene was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
She was a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church; she loved the Lord and devoted 10 years of service as church secretary in addition to her countless hours of volunteer work. She enjoyed watching sports and especially attending baseball games. She was passionate about gardening and butterflies. It brought her great joy to spend her evenings coloring and visiting with her family. Darlene had a special relationship with each of her seven siblings; however, she always enjoyed the special times she spent with her two sisters.
Survivors, in addition to her husband, are one son, Brian Lilja (Danette), Monument, Colo.; two daughters, Brenda McGovern (Howard Absetz), Colorado Springs, Colo., and Bonnie Mazza (Jarett), Burlington, N.J.; three granddaughters and one great-granddaughter; a sister, Carol Knudsen, Woodstock, Ill.; two brothers, Larry Emricson, Woodstock, Ill., and Kenneth Emricson, Colorado Springs, Colo.; and many nieces and nephews. Three brothers, Ronald Emricson, LaVern Emricson, and Keith Emricson, and one sister, Anna Marie Emricson, preceded her in death.
A general fund, in the memory of Darlene Lilja, has been established at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, Colo.