Lillian Wild (Wright)
WILD, Lillian (Wright), 89, of Louisville, passed away Wednesday, March 29, 2017.
Lillian Wild was born Lillian May Wright on August 26, 1927, near Munfordville, KY to the late Buckner and Dicie Wright.
She moved to Louisville when she was 16, and through a friend met her future husband, George. She went on to pass her realtor and real estate broker’s tests and became a licensed broker in 1965. In 1973, she started working with the Blacketer Company and continued to be an active relator for over 40 years. Lillian was named Realtor of the Year in 1987 and has served as President of the Louisville and State Women’s Councils of Realtors. She was active in organizing the board of realtors in support of Habitat for Humanity. Lillian also served as a member for many years on the Watterson Park council. She became a member of Holy Family Catholic Church in 1962.
Lillian was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, George Wild; and grandson, Ben Clark.
She is survived by her children, Nancy Clark (Wayne), Jerry Wild (Kathy), and Georgia Wild; sister, Audra Brown; 11 grandchildren; and 16 great grandchildren.
Visitation will be Friday 4pm-8pm at Highlands Funeral Home, 3331 Taylorsville Road. Her Funeral Mass will be 10am Saturday at Holy Family Catholic Church, 3926 Poplar Level Road, with interment to follow at Cave Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to Habitat for Humanity.
Life Story for Lillian Wild (Wright)
Lillian Wright Wild (Aug 26, 1927-March 29th, 2017)
Lillian Wild was born Lillian May Wright on August 26, 1927 in a farm house near Munfordville, KY. Her parents were Buckner and Dicie Wright, who ran a big farm in the middle of the Great Depression. Her family were Methodist circuit riding preachers. She was the 4th daughter out of 6 children. Her father died when she was young, leaving her mother and the children with the responsibilities of the farm. “We did not have much,” she said, “but we had each other and we had plenty of food to eat.” And she made sure others got to eat as well. Partly in response to her upbringing, Lillian gardened and canned long after it was anything close to a necessity. And she continued to make sure everyone she ran into had food to eat.
Lillian moved to Louisville at age 16 and lived with her older brother, Johnny. Shortly afterwards, she found a job with the phone company and became a switchboard operator. In her training class, she met Corinne Wild and through her, she met her future husband, George. They were married in 1947 and had 54 years together. The family threw them a 50th anniversary party in 1997 which was very special to them. Hundreds of people contributed to their memories book and took time to attend the event. She often said afterwards that it was one of the highlights of her life.
Lillian and George finished their schooling while Nancy was in high school and then she went on to pass her realtor and real estate broker’s tests. She became a licensed broker in 1965 and started working with the Blacketer Company in 1973. She was an active realtor for over 40 years, was named Realtor of the Year in 1987 and has served as President of the Louisville and the State Women’s Councils of Realtors. Lillian was active in organizing the board of realtors in support of Habitat for Humanity.
She always wanted to help people in need and to help folks get a home. Her job was more of a calling than a career. While she had many wealthy clients, she also had many who could not afford much. She made it a point to find a way to get people into homes. That was why Habitat for Humanity was her main charity. She believed strongly in the “sweat equity” requirement of the program. Several times she bought small houses and rented them very cheaply to people who could not afford to buy their own. One of the major components of her success as a realtor was her repeat business. People always came back to her because she treated them so well. She sold numerous people 3-4 houses over the years.
Lillian served as a member for many years on the City of Watterson Park council and was often referred to as the “tree lady.” In addition to gardening, she loved trees and plants, as well. A walking path on Gardiner Lane was dedicated in her honor a number of years ago. Lillian was an organizer and did many things to enhance the world around her, including Watterson City. Late in life, long after she had become a fixture in the area, she would still go to every house in Watterson City to ask for their vote, so she could keep making her community better.
Lillian became an active member of Holy Family Catholic Church in 1962.
Lillian is survived by 3 children, Nancy Clark, Jerry Wild and Georgia Wild, 1 sister Audra Brown, 11 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
There are a number of virtues that characterized Lillian Wild. One of them was strength. Lillian stood up to people and for people in pursuit of justice and fairness. Lillian was a steal magnolia who was sometimes a little light on the magnolia. No challenge was too big nor obstacle too high to keep her from doing what she thought was right. She was tenacious and sometimes strong-willed.
She was generous and kind-hearted to people (and animals) in need. She donated a good bit of what she had to people in need, especially if they were working hard to support themselves and their families. If you weren’t careful, she would donate some of your time and resources also. She was not shy about asking for help for others. Or as we preachers like to say, she could “lift an offering,” when necessary. She was so positive and charming in the process that you just could not help but join her in helping others.
She liked to complement people on their appearance or their performance, if it was justified. She liked to affirm people and make them feel good about themselves. Lillian could also tell you the truth, when needful. She was not mean, but she was honest. She had strong opinions and they were often accurate. She was hard-working, and expected it of others as well.
Lillian was selfless in many ways. Catering to George’s lifelong love of the water, she organized around many lake and river vacations even though she could not swim a lick and was deathly afraid of water herself. She was a good cook and contributed food to many people. She organized an annual backyard Derby Party for which she became rightly known.
Ps 116:15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones. NASB
While we mourn the loss of someone as important to us as Lillian, God is in Heaven rejoicing. His beloved daughter has come home. There she is re-united with George, her parents, her brothers and sisters, her aunts, uncles and cousins, her many friends and neighbors of almost 90 years, and even a few younger family members who went on ahead of her in an untimely manner. Those folks are all celebrating – a life well-lived, a long-lost friend, a much-loved family member who has come home. We who have seen her go from us mourn, but not as those who have no hope. Our faith tells us that we will see her again soon. Our perspective is that she is happy, healthy and free of all cares and concerns of this world for the first time in almost 90 years. That perspective will carry us through the loss.
Congratulations, Lillian Wild. You have fought the good fight, you have won the race and there is now laid up for you a crown and a reward. We are happy for you. We thank you for what you mean to us. We do not say “Good-bye” to you. We say, “until we meet again.”