I've been a member of the Blackridge Garden Club since 1999, and participated in some of their activities well before that time. I've met and worked with lovely people over those many years through my association with the BGC. If I had to single out one thing out of all of my experiences with the organization as having the biggest impact on me, as being the closest to my heart, and as being a true blessing in my life, it has been the opportunity to meet and get to know Lil Huguley.
We worked together on many projects, and I admired and loved her very much. She was smart. She was wise. She was talented. She was gracious. She was beautiful. She was funny. She and Neal created a wonderful family and a true partnership. I will miss her every day, and I will try to be more like her.
I recently lost my mother, and chose this poem to share at her funeral. I'd like to share it again, in honor of Lil:
Lessons Mother Taught Us
She planted dill for swallow-tails
and milkweed where monarchs would lay
their caterpillar offspring round
the grass green meadows of May.
The migrants returned then as always;
how quickly her crops were consumed!
but countless chrysalides dotted the dell
tucked inside their golden cocoons.
Then early one morning she beckoned
us watch the mystery unfold;
the metamorphosis almost complete
translucent shells gave up their gold.
Wet wings greeted the rising sun
and the warmth of a soft summer breeze,
soon butterflies coloured meadow and wood
floating gracefully throughout the trees.
She told us of unseen transcendings
as we watched the born-agains soar;
so certain were we then of heaven
as if we had been there before.
J.D. Deutschendorf, from At the Water’s Edge
LILIA COMER HUGULEY
Age 70, of Wilkinsburg, on August 26, 2013. Beloved wife of 48 years to Neal Huguley, Jr.; loving mother to Piper Huguley-Riggins and Heather Harris; mother-in-law to Marcus Riggins and Elmer Harris, Jr.; cherished grandmother to Xavier Riggins and Kendra Harris, daughter of Anna Comer; sister to Johnnie Comer and Sherida Dudley; beloved "oldest" cousin and friend to many. A devout gardener, genealogist, knitter and lover of westerns, Lilia graduated from South Hills High School in 1960. She obtained her first job as a medical secretary for Margolis and Associates. Still wishing to develop her keen intellect, she continued her education by taking night courses at Community College of Allegheny County. Then she transferred to Carlow College, becoming one of the first graduates of the weekend college program in 1984. She was Carlow's commencement speaker a few years later. Employed as a secretary at Pittsburgh National Bank , she was later promoted to a position in the Trust Dept. While on loan as a fundraising executive to the United Way of Allegheny County and she became an employee there. At the United Way, she eventually became an Executive Vice President of the Fundraising Campaign, retiring in 2001. She spent her retirement years on various boards of the Blackridge Garden Club, eventually becoming President. She also taught Sunday School at Riverview United Presbyterian Church where she had served as an elder and was the lead soprano voice in the choir. She also directed many cantata productions to great success. Lilia also performed duets around the city with her husband. She also performed as part of the African American spiritual vocal ensemble, The Gift of Song, earning the nickname "Heidi" for her capacity to sing high notes in her beautiful soprano voice. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in Lilia's name to The Riverview Presbyterian Memorial fund, Youth Group or Organ and Music Fund of your choice. Visitation on Friday from 1-7 p.m. in the Riverview Presbyterian Church, 3505 Perrysville Ave., Pgh, PA 15214 where Homegoing Celebration Service will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. Interment Homewood Cemetery. Send condolences at:
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from August 28 to August 30, 2013