[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
78°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 20
1954 - C-46 cargo plane crashes at Saugus Drunk Farm; Civil Air Patrol chaplains parachute to safety [story]
chaplains


| Friday, Apr 12, 2019
Irene Lilley turned 90 years old on April 4 and celebrated the milestone birthday with her husband, actor and stuntman Jack Lilley, a 2008 recipient on Santa Clarita’s Walk of Western Stars, and family and friends at her Canyon Country home on Sunday, April 7, 2019. | Photo: Matt Fernandez/The Signal.
Irene Lilley turned 90 years old on April 4 and celebrated the milestone birthday with her husband, actor and stuntman Jack Lilley, a 2008 recipient on Santa Clarita’s Walk of Western Stars, and family and friends at her Canyon Country home on Sunday, April 7, 2019. | Photo: Matt Fernandez/The Signal.

 

Irene Lilley said she feels much younger than the 90 years she celebrated on Sunday.

Lilley, a Canyon Country resident, turned 90 on April 4 and celebrated Sunday with her family and friends at the home her grandparents built and that she lived in all her life.

Lilley is married to actor and stuntman Jack Lilley, 85, who received a star on Santa Clarita’s Walk of Western Stars in 2008.

“It’s been heaven living here all these years, and my husband could keep all his horses and still go to work close by, so we just stayed here while the rest of Santa Clarita changed,” Lilley said. “I never thought I would live to 90. I still do all the things like cook, take care of my husband and I could drive, but I don’t since I had an operation on my leg.”

Lilley’s first cousins, Henry Balsz and Susan “Twilly” Baker, came back to the family ranch to celebrate with her. Balsz said he has nothing but fond memories of running around the property with Lilley and their other relatives and that the joy he felt being able to be with his cousin was not something that he could explain with words.

“I came all the way from Colorado, so this is a special day for us,” Baker said. “Most of the elders in the family are gone, and it’s just me and my first cousins that are really left from that generation.”

Western way of life
A picture available on SCVHistory.com demonstrated Irene Madrid Lilley’s roots in the Santa Clarita Valley. She’s sitting cross-legged in the K-8 Honby School photo from 1938, which was the year of the “Great Flood” (lesser known than the San Francisquito Dam disaster, the “50-year storm” was not as deadly, but still managed to claim more than 100 lives by estimates available on the local history website).

The flood ultimately washed away the school that year, according to local historians, but Irene’s family remained, living on a ranch in an area that at the time was known as Honby, but is considered part of Canyon Country today.

In Santa Clarita, Irene also met and married Western stuntman Jack Lilley, who’s credited with more than 280 roles in movies, as well as such well-known television shows as “Gunsmoke,” “Bonanza” and “High Chaparral,” among many others.

The couple also founded Movin’ on Livestock, a family business that supplies “performing livestock, cast and nondescript livestock, and other relevant animals,” according to the company’s website. The company facilitated the animals for Hollywood films such as both “City Slickers” movies and, more recently, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”

A community that cares
Lilley’s youngest son, Clint, told stories about how generous, adventurous and tough she was when he grew up. For example, he told of how she paid for a family friend to attend college or how, even into her 80s, she would drive Clint to the park to help him walk as part of his physical therapy after an accident.

“She is the oak tree that everybody would cling to, and she raised half the kids in the neighborhood,” Clint said. “She grew up in the Depression era, so she knew what it was like to have nothing and didn’t want anyone else to feel like that. It’s almost surreal because I don’t think of her as being 90. I try to keep her mind sharp by asking her if she remembers where she was during certain historic events, and I’m amazed by the things she’s seen in this world.”

Stacy McWatters has known Lilley since she was 8 years old and considers the nonagenarian to be her mother.

“I lost my mom when I was really young and, after that, Irene took me in along with some other kids who hung out here,” McWatters said. “They called us the ranch kids, and we played here and had our horses here, and it was our life. Irene taught me to be a good, honest person and to take care of other people who need help because, over the years, she selflessly and unabashedly has opened up her home and her heart to so many people.”

Lilley credits her longevity to her faith in God and said her proudest achievement is raising her family.

“I know that the dear Lord is here with me and I believe in Him and He believes in me,” she said. “Life is still good to me. I want to be here for my family. They’re all great people, and we’ve never had any problems, so I also thank the Lord that they were here with me today.”

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Sep 20, 2019
Reveles Sentenced to 364 Days for Vehicular Manslaughter
John Reveles, convicted last month of vehicular manslaughter in the crash that killed his 7-year-old daughter, Sophia Bella Cano Reveles, and David John Kelly, a 75-year-old man from Green Valley, was sentenced to 364 days in jail.
Friday, Sep 20, 2019
Air Quality Monitors at Chiquita Canyon Landfill Due Late November
Air quality monitors at the Chiquita Canyon Landfill are expected to be up and running by late November or early December, according to Los Angeles County planning officials.
Friday, Sep 20, 2019
Smog Tests for Big Rigs and Diesel Trucks Coming to California
California will become the first state to require smog tests for heavy-duty diesel trucks and tractor-trailers under legislation signed Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Master's University senior Dylan Bielanski made it four consecutive matches with a point Thursday afternoon when his second-half goal added some insurance in a 2-0 victory over Marymount California University men's soccer at TMU.
Mustangs Score in Each Half, Shut out Marymount California
The Master's University's Stephen Pacheco, named the NAIA Men's Cross Country Runner of the Week, has been focusing lately on Proverbs 21:31.
TMU’s Stephen Pacheco Named NAIA Runner of the Week
John Reveles, convicted last month of vehicular manslaughter in the crash that killed his 7-year-old daughter, Sophia Bella Cano Reveles, and David John Kelly, a 75-year-old man from Green Valley, was sentenced to 364 days in jail.
Reveles Sentenced to 364 Days for Vehicular Manslaughter
The effort Eric Martin and Luke Brueckner exerted over the summer didn't take long to pay off in the fall.
Practice Pays Off for Martin, Brueckner in TMU Golf Season Opener
College of the Canyons was able to stop a four-game skid with an exciting come-from-behind victory over No. 12 state-ranked Moorpark College on Wednesday.
Volleyball: Cougars Rally for 3-1 Victory Over Moorpark
College of the Canyons' men's soccer team struck first and eventually played to a 1-1 draw vs. visiting No. 5 Fresno City College.
Cougars Strike First, Draw with No. 5 Fresno City
"Beware the Dark Realm," a free, award-winning walk-through haunted house in Santa Clarita, will open its castle doors for five spooktacular nights during the 2019 Halloween season, starting Saturday, October 12 and open 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. each night.
Oct. 12: ‘Beware the Dark Realm’ Halloween Haunt to Open Gates
As part of its 50th Anniversary year of service to the Santa Clarita Valley, College of the Canyons invites the community to a special Homecoming Celebration on Saturday, September 28 at Cougar Stadium in Valencia.
COC Invites Community to 50th Homecoming Sept. 28
Air quality monitors at the Chiquita Canyon Landfill are expected to be up and running by late November or early December, according to Los Angeles County planning officials.
Air Quality Monitors at Chiquita Canyon Landfill Due Late November
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District has confirmed 11 additional mosquito samples positive for West Nile virus, or WNV.
11 More Mosquito Samples Test Positive for WNV
The city of Santa Clarita will host the fourth annual Gran Fondo community cycling race, presented by Santa Clarita Velo, on Saturday, September 28, beginning at 7 a.m. at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex, 20850 Centre Point Parkway.
Sept. 28: Gran Fondo Community Cycling Race
California will become the first state to require smog tests for heavy-duty diesel trucks and tractor-trailers under legislation signed Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Smog Tests for Big Rigs and Diesel Trucks Coming to California
Congresswoman Katie Hill (D-Agua Dulce) sent a bicameral letter to President Trump on Friday signed by 45 members of the California Democratic delegation, including Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, condemning the administration’s recent threat to criminalize individuals experiencing homelessness across California and putting forth evidence-based and effective solutions.
Katie Hill Leads Reply to Trump’s California Homelessness Statements
Escalating a battle over states’ rights and against climate change, California and 22 other states filed a federal lawsuit Friday against the Trump administration for revoking a Clean Air Act waiver that allowed the Golden State to set emissions rules that are stricter than the federal government.
California-Led Coalition Sues Trump Over Clean Air Act Waiver
If Idaho native Lacey Borland could describe what Cali Lake RV Resort in Agua Dulce offered her and her family, she would say: “home.”
RV Resort Residents Concerned After Violation Notice
Residents can now walk down Santa Clarita sidewalks and find poetic inspirations laid out in front of them, literally, thanks to the city's Sidewalk Poetry project.
Santa Clarita Unveils 2019 Sidewalk Poetry Project
Two women from neighboring valleys were booked on burglary charges Thursday morning following a break-in at a Canyon Country storage facility, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station officials reported.
Out-of-Towners Busted on Burglary Charges in Canyon Country
The California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors has concurred with staff recommendations for the Preferred Alternatives for the high-speed rail routes in Northern California.
High-Speed Rail Board Adopts Preferred Alternatives in NoCal
1954 - C-46 cargo plane crashes at Saugus Drunk Farm; Civil Air Patrol chaplains parachute to safety [story]
chaplains
West Ranch improved to 4-0 with a 44-21 win over Royal High School of Simi Valley.
Photo Gallery: West Ranch Still Undefeated Thanks to Decisive Win Against Simi
LOS ANGELES - Supervisor Kathryn Barger applauded California Treasurer Fiona Ma and members of the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee for their decision to approve $300 million in private activity, tax-exempt bonds to XpressWest (now Virgin Trains USA) for their proposed high speed rail line that will connect Las Vegas to Victorville.
Barger Lauds State Approval of Private Funds for Vegas-to-Victorville Rail Line
A second case of whooping cough has been reported in a Santa Clarita Valley school, this time at Valencia High, according to officials.
Second SCV Student Reported to Have Whooping Cough
The Santa Clarita Veteran Services Collaborative is partnering with Heritage Sierra Medical Group of Santa Clarita to offer free flu vaccinations to veterans, active military and their families, Saturday, Sept. 28, from 9:00 a.m. - noon, at the Veterans Center
Sept. 28: Veteran Services Collaborative to Offer Free Flu Vaccines to Veterans
The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation’s William S. Hart Regional Park, in cooperation with the Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society, presents the “Wild West Celebration of Roses.”
Nov. 2: SCV Rose Society’s ‘Wild West Celebration of Roses’
%d bloggers like this: