Katherine Ann MacMath Lilley

April 3, 1926June 24, 2020

Katherine Ann MacMath Lilley was born on April 3, 1926 in Kansas City, Missouri. She and her younger sister, Carol Lee MacMath, were raised by her father, Walter MacMath, a dentist and anesthesiologist, and her mother, Ellen MacMath, a homemaker, and the hotel credit manager of the Muehlebach Hotel. After graduating from Glennon High School at the age of 16, Katherine worked at the Muehlebach Hotel and then moved to Denver in 1948. She met Chuck Lilley at a YMCA dance, and after a short courtship, they were married November 26, 1949.

Chuck was an insurance claims adjuster throughout his career, and the family transferred to a few towns early in their marriage, including Kansas City, Monte Vista, Colorado, Grand Junction, Colorado, and Clovis, New Mexico. In 1961 Katherine and Chuck bought their family home in Thornton, Colorado, where they lived through retirement.

Katherine and Chuck raised five children together, who have all survived her: Karen Lilley (Dave Hansen), St Paul, Minnesota; Charles Lilley (Jan Manis, dec’d.), Denver, Colorado; Keith Lilley (Barb), Northglenn, Colorado; Marian Lilley (Wayne Crayton), Anchorage, Alaska; and Mark Lilley (Kari Fortune, ex-wife), Denver, Colorado.

Katherine was also survived by ten grandchildren: Matthew, Christine, and Mary Lilley; Britta and Kell Hansen; Blair and Clark Lilley; Hannah Crayton; Weston and Ross Lilley; and a great grandchild, Ayden Lilley-Ellison.

Katherine was active at Holy Cross Parish and Elementary School. She worked with the founding parish priest on many things, including reconciling the checkbook, and writing a weekly article for the Denver Catholic Register. Katherine held the offices of Secretary for the P.T.A., and Treasurer for the Altar & Rosary Society. She started a fundraiser selling Christmas Cards and delivering them for three years. She was in charge of the parish census, and participated with Chuck on parish council. For seven years, Katherine, coordinated most of the pot luck funeral dinners of the parish, calling on friends and relations for food donations, picking them up, and delivering them to the reception hall. Katherine and Chuck were active in various bridge clubs over the years, and Katherine enjoyed playing bridge with her friends all her life.

Chuck Lilley had Multiple Sclerosis for 40 years, experiencing a very slow decline in his health. Ultimately it was necessary for Katherine to provide a lot of in-home medical care for Chuck, as her marriage vows required. Chuck died in 2001, and Katherine lived independently in the family home until her passing. Katherine enjoyed traveling in the U.S., and throughout the world. She took more than fifty trips after her children were grown, visiting all the continents except Antarctica. She was also an avid reader, and in her later years, read more than 100 books per year. She loved watching Jeopardy every day. Katherine died on June 24, 2020, after a short non-Covid-related illness. During her brief time in hospice, her children and grandchildren were fortunate to be able visit with her, in person, and tell her they loved her.

To view a YouTube collage of Katherine’s photos go to

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rocky Mountain MS Center, 8845 Wagner Street, Westminster, CO 80031 or to the Rocky Mountain ALS Association 10855 Dover St., Ste. 500, Westminster, CO 80021.


  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Katherine Ann MacMath Lilley

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ellen Kenney-Reffel

July 4, 2020

Katherine was a meticulous, thoughtful person. I have many happy memories of her from our time together at Holy Cross. When Katherine gave you a compliment, you knew you had done something right! I appreciate all she did for our community. She cared!

Mark Lilley

July 1, 2020

As her youngest son, I'm bound to have unique memories compared to my siblings. I was, according to Mom, a "surprise". But I will never, ever forget some of the guidance she gave me in life. At the time, (and yes, even today, 40+ years later) they seemed so mundane and insignificant, but by following her tips and wisdom, they have turned out to be valuable nuggets in retrospect. These include such things as saying thank you to people for every kindness; giving thanks to Jesus for EVERY little thing; making me learn how to type correctly in high school; how to sew on a button; putting things away right then instead of waiting; letting me know it's OK to do some things alone, and just for me; making time to read; planning out multi-stop errands to be more efficient with right turns and traffic. And many more I'll keep to myself. These are things I appreciate to this very day and I hope to have as much impact on my own two boys with my own little nuggets of wisdom that stand the test of time. Thank you, Mom.

Karen Stanley

June 30, 2020

I am saddened to hear of the passing of Katherine. (Unfortunately the news came too late for me to attend her services) Katherine was a good friend to my mother, Jackie Stanley. I have heard many stories of the great times they spent traveling together, particularly of New York City. I have many of my own memories, with Charles (Charlie). My condolences to the entire Lilley family. May God’s strength be with you all in this difficult time.
Remember, what passes is the sorrow, the memories are yours to keep?