I, like many, first got to know Lil at Hoffman York. She was a pistol, so full of life and of stories. There are far too many to share but one stands out. Apologies to Lil if I’m not remembering it fully but I’m pretty sure this is how it went.
Upon graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago, Lil decided to spend some time in Paris. One day she walked into a bistro where she saw two gentlemen sitting at a table. Recognizing one of them she exclaimed, “Why Raymond Loewy, as I live and breathe!” (If you don’t know who Raymond Loewy was, please Google him. Lil would be slightly appalled that you don’t know of him but pleased that you learned something today.)
She quickly thought better of her outburst and profusely apologized for interrupting them. Mr. Loewy was gracious, introduced Lil to her friend and invited her to join them, which she did. From that day on, Lil maintained a correspondence with Mr. Loewy until his passing.
I can only imagine her wild cursive excitedly talking about art, design and most likely Paris. Here is to you Lil. I am a better person for having known you. –Mark Drewek
Such a privilege to know Lillian at Hoffman York and keep in touch over the years. She always made me feel as if I were a very special friend. And I suspect everyone that knew her felt that same way. She used her talents in such a generous and uniquely thoughtful way. I have treasures and photos and notes, that I will always keep to remind me to reach out and think of others before myself. I pray her wonderful life will have a lasting influence on us all in this world, ’til we meet again. A big thank you Lillian.
I am looking at wonderful picture taken on May 26, 1994 of a Parisian gentleman sitting on a bar stool; he is wearing a pinstripe suit jacket, jaunty hat and next a huge bowl of fresh food. It is one of the many photos that Lillian and Jack shared with us in the office of the Cudahy Tower Apartments. They enriched our lives with their stories and their insights about art, Paris, and life in Milwaukee. I have so many occasions to remember their generosity and their enthusiasm and will carry her example of how to add goodness to the world in my heart. Cathy Lathrop
Sheila Houlihan Daily
Lil’s passion for art and life was truly contagious. She was a talented art director and photographer and had great appreciation for the beauty around her. My first creative job was at Hoffman York in ’78 and when we’d travel to Chicago together on a shoot, Lil took me along as we literally ran to “visit” her favorite works of art at the Art Institute. She bought me my first AIC membership as a gift and I sent her postcards from all the art museums I visited over these many years. She kept in touch with me with her wonderful postcards featuring her photography. I’ll never forget Lil’s laugh, her office full of great art books, her Hermes scarves, her generosity, and her friendship.
I knew Lil as an artist, a mentor, and tiny woman with a huge personality and zest for life. We’ve been friends since I was 10 years old (she used to work with my mother in the 70s at Hoffman-York in Milwaukee) and up until her health started to deteriorate, we had regular dates at Milwaukee Art Museum and then out for her favorite french food at Chez Jacques afterwards. She always had a positive view of life, even when things were tough. Lil, I’ll never forget your laugh and the way you saw the world. I’m pretty sure you are up there in heaven right now remarking about the wonderful view. I’ll miss you.
Kate Schalles Battle