Lillian was well loved wherever she went and was always ready with a one liner that brought laughter to everyone. She cherished her friends but to her, family came first. She was always willing to offer a helping hand, especially when she got to be chauffeur for her sisters as drivers were a rare species when coming from South Philly. Being from a family of 14 children, Lillian learned to cook early in life and worked magic behind the stove. She could whip up a meal in the blink of an eye, but she was most famous for her meatballs and gravy, Easter bread, Christmas cookies, and the traditional Christmas Eve seven fishes’ dinner. There were never any written recipes, cooking just came natural to her and she truly loved seeing everyone enjoy her food. Barbecue was also one of Lillian’s specialties so much so that her brother-in-law built her an extra step so she could better reach the charcoal grill. She worked many jobs, (Bell Tel, B&R Deli, Zurbrugg Hospital, and The Crossing of Riverside) and was a hard worker her whole life; she was the first through the door and the last to leave. Through her job as a cook, she learned to prepare meals for various ethnicities that brought people comfort during their most difficult times. But she found her real calling later in life; Lillian was a grandmother for the ages. She babysat her grandchildren from when they were born until they started school which included trips to Golden Coral, Chuckie Cheese, and the Dollar Store. Lillian’s world revolved around her grandchildren; they were perfect in her eyes and were her pride and joy. And she never missed an event even going as far as travelling to Disney for a cheer competition. She was a lover of sports, especially football and baseball. When games were on, she’d be cheering on the Eagles and Phillies or was watching her favorite show, Law and Order. For fun, she enjoyed taking bus trips to AC and took “sister trips” to Hawaii and Las Vegas.
She is survived by her daughters, Bernadette (Rich) Twist and Rose (David) Gonteski; grandchildren: Kaci (Patrick) Openshaw, Megan Gonteski, Madyson Twist, and Katie Gonteski; her great-granddaughter Sadie Openshaw; sisters Josephine Chuplis and Terry (Gary) Bottiglieri; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Lillian is also pre-deceased by 10 of her beloved siblings.
Please join us to celebrate Lillian’s 79 years on Tuesday 5/24, 9am-11am at Sweeney Funeral Home, Riverside where there will be an 11 am service. Interment Lakeview Memorial Park, Cinnaminson NJ. In lieu of flowers donations may be to Samaritan Hospice, 5 Eves Dr., Suite 300, Marlton, NJ 08053