Hello & Welcome!
Thank you for taking a moment out of your hectic lives to read about our Go Fund Me story... With our participation in this campaign, it is our hope that we may be able to raise enough money to build a living, breathing, functional, Private Chapel for use by Family and Friend on our Private Property in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.
This Chapel, lovingly referred to as, The Lilly Country Chapel, would be built as a Tribute in Memory of two very special people...
Travis Virginia Lilly & Patricia J. Herlan
Travis and Pat were devout Christians who's main focus in life was to share their Love, their Love of God, and God's Love for all people with everyone they came in contact with along life's path. They gave of themselves everyday through their kind words and good deeds. They were truly two of God's most beautiful Angels on Earth.
With any funds we raise, we would like to build a Chapel and also further beautify the gardens and grounds to enhance the overall scenery, serenity & atmosphere of the Chapel site. It would truly be a place for rest and spiritual meditation.
The images above contain actual photos of the plan site, as well as visuals of what we plan for the Chapel to look similar to on the exterior and interior. The Chapel exterior would be Linen Vinyl Siding with Red Metal Roofing to match the surrounding structures.
We appreciate anything you can do to help us make this memorial come to fruition. To learn more about our story, please read on... We Thank You for your time, kindness and generosity! :-)
With Love, Timmy & Chris
Our Story, continued...
Travis Virginia Lilly was my, Timmy's, unofficially adopted Grandmother, and Patricia "Pat" J. Herlan was Chris' Mom, who also became a second Mom to me, Timmy. These two people were the most loving and giving people we have ever known, and we wish all of you could have known them too.
They both made a huge impact on the people we have become and continue to be. They taught us that above all else, you are to love one another without fear, and to love unconditionally, just as God loves each of us.
Travis & Pat had a heart full of love for God, their family, friends and strangers alike. They believed in sharing everything they had with others, whether it be their time, their life experiences, their homes, their food, you name it! The list just goes on and on, but the most important gift they freely shared with others was their love!
We have made it our mission to build a Chapel in their memories, so we may share of ourselves in the same way these two special ladies did for us and all those they met in their everyday walk of life. For us, there is no better way to celebrate and commemorate their lives than to build the one thing that meant the most to them and always brought people together. A Chapel... A place where people can come together in love and good will.
Here is some more background information about these two special ladies...
Growing up, Travis Virginia Lilly was like a Grandmother of sorts to me, Timmy, and my two brothers and four sisters. Even though we were not blood relation, you would never know any different, as Travis would introduce us to her family and friends as "these are my kids". :-)
She was so proud that we thought of ourselves as her family. Travis never married, nor did she have any children of her own, but to her, my brothers, sisters and I more than made up for that void in her life! Besides what kid wouldn't want another Grandma in their lives?! :-)
As Travis' health declined, she had to move in with her niece in a neighboring town. At first, she only had to live with her niece during the late fall through early spring, as it was much too difficult for her to keep her 1890's farm house warm during the colder parts of the year.
With her move, the opportunities to visit with Travis were not as frequent as they had been while growing up. As kids, we walked two houses down the lane to see our Travis. We would walk on in the back door of her home without even knocking, as if we lived there. Strange, I know, but this was at Travis' insistence! I remember as I got older that I started to knock on the door out of respect, and Travis looked at me through that old creeky screen door and said, "What are you doing knocking? Get in here! This is your home too!" :-) We walked down the country lane to see Travis nearly every day, especially, during summer break! Her house, our second home, was the place to be!
Travis' 'homeplace', as she lovingly referred to it, fell into disrepair in the later years of her life, and after Travis' health took a turn for the worse, she was resigned to permanently living with her niece. She soon had to put her homeplace up for sale. This place was so special to me as a child, that I could not see someone buying it only to tear down those precious memories. So, Chris and I were fortunate enough to be able to purchase this very special place where I had grown up and learned so many of life's good values from such a wonderful woman!
We made many renovations to her home and property in general. From adding electricity, to putting in a well and septic system, giving Travis' old homeplace running water and two functional bathrooms in the house for the first time ever! Unfortunately, Travis never had the opportunity to see these magnificent changes in person, changes she had help to inspire. We did show her photos and videos of her home during and after the renovations, but she could hardly believe what she was seeing. Travis said to us, "That's not my house". She was completely overwhelmed by the changes!
Our eventual plan was to bring Travis back home to live out the rest of her days here in the home where she had grown up, but unfortunately, shortly after our renovations were completed, Travis' health took a turn for the worse, and she fell and broke her hip. We had gone to visit with her at the nursing home one afternoon, but moments before we walked into her room, Travis had quietly slipped away. It was Christmas Day 2004. A day we'll always remember.
We have missed Travis every day since she has left this world, and feel so fortunate to still live in her "homeplace", where the memories are as fresh as they were when I was a child. We hope she is looking down on us from Heaven, smiling, and happy that we were able to rescue her beloved homeplace. In our hearts, we know this to be true. :-)
The other special lady who was a part of our lives and who is also the inspiration to build this beautiful Chapel was Chris' Mom, Patricia "Pat" J. Herlan. Pat was very true to her religious beliefs. Her love for God and Family was ever present, as she did not just talk the talk, she walked the walk as well!
Pat was very inspirational in her Faith. She lived and breathed her Faith without fear. Pat made several pilgrimages to Israel to see the Holy Land through the years. She said she was so blessed to be able to walk in the streets where Jesus had walked. It was one of the most glorious experiences of her life, and it inspired her to live her life to the fullest and to give freely to all she met, and share the most precious gift God had given her... Love & Forgiveness.
Pat loved sharing her Faith and Hope for a better tomorrow with all those that would hear. She consistently gave of herself, her time, and her money to help others every chance she had. Whether it be her neighbors by giving them work to keep busy during the lean times, or during the winter when work was hard to come by...
She also loved to help the wildlife in the West Virginia Mountains. Pat was always ready to do whatever she could to make things better for others, eliminate pain and suffering and needless worry. Pat spent much of her time, effort, and savings to make her large property a place of refuge for many, if it were ever needed!
Pat throughly enjoyed all of God's beautiful nature that surround her home and property. Whether it be the gorgeous natual mountain scenery, ponds, or the precious wildlife that sought refuge at her home, she was ready to make the lives of God's smallest creatures easier too. For example, she supplied corn and drinking water to the starving deer and geese in the dead of winter. Pat was not one to just sit back and witness animals suffering, she took action!
One thing is for certain, Pat loved her way of life in the mountains of West Virginia. There are not many who have loved God, Family and Strangers alike as much as she did. Pat was truly a remarkable woman and a one of a kind Mother! We miss her dearly since she went to Heaven in October 2010. She will forever hold a piece of our hearts and a part of our daily thoughts... As Mom would always say to us as we were leaving from a visit... See You, Miss You, Love You... Ditto Mom. Ditto.
Thank you all for reading our story. We wish you well and pray for peace, love and good will to you and your families!
Love & Hugs,
Timmy & Chris