EDITORIAL: Lilley, White shared a strong faith, commitment to community

Jan. 16, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Perry White and Mark Lilley were two different men who had two traits in common — they both cared a great deal about this community, and they both had an abiding faith.

White and Lilley died this past week, leaving a void in our community that certainly will be hard to fill.

White, a decorated fighter pilot during World War II, accomplished much for Lee County during the 91 years he spent on this earth. A former county commissioner and Central Carolina Community College trustee, White served on various other boards and groups, adding keen insights to all.

Lilley, 49, was general manager of WBFT-TV in Sanford and worked many hours in providing local television coverage of various events. Lilley was a former candidate for county commissioner and, like White, served on various boards and groups.

White taught Sunday School at St. Luke United Methodist Church.

“He had just a huge heart, and at the same time he was a man's man; he proved that in his service to the country,” said White’s friend Lloyd Jennings. “...When you talked to him about that, it was clear he understood who was in charge. He knew he wasn’t in charge; he had a deep, abiding faith.”

Lilley was a faithful member of New Hope Baptist Church, but had struggled with health issues in the last year or so.

Tim Copas said he lost a friend “who would give you the shirt off his back.”

“As far as the community goes, he was always there to try to cover whatever went on in Sanford in the last 10 years,” Copas said. “He was my friend, I'll miss him, and it's a sad day for Sanford.”

Both will be greatly missed.