In Memoriam: Ruth McBurney Lilly

Ruth McBurney Lilly, 89, Zephyr, Texas, died May 10, 2010, at Brownwood Regional Medical Center. She was born March 5, 1921, the only child of Beulah (Daniel) and Murray McBurney of Zephyr.

Ruth attended North Texas Teachers College in Denton as an art major. She studied religion, philosophy, science and literature. She was an artist in several media, an elementary school teacher, a mother, a jack-of-all-trades and a “devout” atheist. She had a lively interest in politics and was a lifelong Democrat.

Ruth was an FFRF member since 1983. “Her membership information (we’re old-fashioned and keep paper files in addition to computer) recording dues and donations fills almost four stapled cards!” notes Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation co-president.

“She was always a lovely correspondent, with personal warmth, and was such a firm activist,” said Anne Gaylor, president emerita.

“We’ve lost a staunch atheist, one who supported me in my nonbelief,” writes Britt Stokes, Ruth’s grandson. “Of our family members — Michele (my mother), Jason and I are all atheists.”

Ruth is survived by two daughters, Michele Bock of Brownwood, Texas, and Niki (Joe) Lockwood of Blanco, Texas; four grandsons, Britt Stokes of Fort Worth, Scott Lockwood of Blanco, Christian Lockwood of San Antonio and Jason Bock of Buffalo, N.Y.; a granddaughter, Vickie Adams of Farmington, N.M.; and 10 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Bob Lilly; her parents; and her aunt, Judy Daniel Sewell.

Freedom From Religion Foundation