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James Hector Lillo

Obituary for James Hector Lillo

November 28, 2016


James Hector Lillo, our beloved son, brother, uncle, friend and grandson, passed at our home surrounded by those that loved him most, on Monday November 28th, 2016. James had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Germ Cell Carcinoma in January during his Master's studies at the University of Chicago. He valiantly and humorously fought through 8 cycles of chemotherapy and 3 major surgeries. Over the past 11 months he received outstanding treatment initially at University of Chicago and for the last 7 months at Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan. James and his family were endlessly supported by his multitude of phenomenal, giving and loving friends. Throughout this entire tumultuous journey, James' closest friends and their parents provided him a world without the struggles and pains of cancer. Through this time James' love for music and charismatic personality connected him with some of his favorite artists. James was able to meet his favorite band, My Morning Jacket, and bring together his favorite local band, River City Extension for a reunion show. His hounding of tweets and emails reach his favorite DJ and producer, Eric Prydz, who have set up a benefit show December 17th in his honor with all proceeds going to "Cancer Research Institute".

In James' short twenty-four years, he touched the lives of people on many continents. James' love of primates and research enabled him to join a team of researchers from St. Andrew's University of England for six months in Uganda. James' worldly interests allowed him to travel the globe meeting people and enjoying different cultures and history. His father passed along to James a love for sports, which included his favorite teams the Mets and Jets. Even after the passing of his Dad, James was able to enjoy his favorite teams with his many friends and family.

Our dearest James will be desperately missed by his mother Liz Lillo, her partner Bryon Vandegrift, sisters Stephanie Lillo and Jennifer Massaro and her husband Butch, his favorite niece Elliana, nephews Alexander Octavius and Elijah Edward. Grandmothers Margaret Hesher and Sarah Lillo, his beloved Uncle Mark Hesher, Aunt Wendy and Uncle Bobby Kruczowy, Aunt Alice and Uncle Bruce Schulman, Aunt Sybil Killian, and his adoring cousins. James was met with a warm embrace in heaven by his father Edward Lillo and Grandfather William Hesher.

James' final wish was to donate his body to Cancer Research at Sloan Kettering. In a beautiful twist of fate, some of his tissue may be included in one of the resident's primate research studies which James would have loved.

Our entire family would like to thank Liz's colleagues at Compassionate Care Hospice for supporting her and her family emotionally, spiritually and professionally as we cared for James throughout his illness.

Relatives and friends are invited to James's Life Celebration on Thursday, December 1, 2016 from 5 to 8 PM and to his service at 8 PM at the Swartz/Givnish Funeral Home, 323 Washington Ave, Newtown, PA 18940

At James request, in lieu of flowers we ask donations to be made to:
Cancer Research Institute
55 Broadway, New York NY10006
(212) 688-7515

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Swartz-Givnish Funeral Home, Inc.

323 East Washington Avenue
Newtown, PA 18940
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