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Johnnie Liles

d. November 13, 2017

Hillsboro – Johnnie Liles, 75, died November 13, 2017 at St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He was born July 16, 1942 in Wichita to George and LaVon (Norberry) Liles.  He married Virgielee Hiebert April 6, 1963 in Hillsboro.  After Virgielees passing in 2002, Johnnie married  Rhonda Epp June 23, 2012 in Hillsboro.  He was City Superintendent of Hillsboro.  Survivors include: wife, Rhonda Liles of Grove, Oklahoma; sons, Christopher Jon Liles, John Ashley Liles, step sons, Scott Paul Neufeld, Kevin Matthew Neufeld; daughters, Stacey Lehigh McMahan, step daughters Laura Lorraine Hendricks, Amy LeeAnn White; many grandchildren and many great grandchildren.  Celebration of Life 1:30 p.m. Saturday, November 18, 2017 at First Mennonite Church in Hillsboro.  Memorials to First Mennonite Church in care of Jost Funeral Home P.O. Box 266 Hillsboro, KS 67063.  Online condolences at www.jostfuneralhome.com

Life Sketch taken from the Funeral Bulletin

Johnnie Edward Liles was born on July 16, 1942, he spent his childhood in Wichita, KS while spending his summers with Norberry cousins in Hume and Nevada, MO area where his parents George and LaVon Liles grew up. During his early highschool years his family moved to Hillsboro, KS for work where he met Virgielee Hiebert at the Hillsboro City pool in 1958. He recalled being smitten and doing a lot of ‘cruising’ in his yellow ’57 Chevy, driving back and forth on Grand Ave past Virgie’s house. He joined the Air Force in 1961 to serve his country and set direction in his life, but couldn’t forget about Virgie. They were married in 1963 at First Mennonite Church in Hillsboro and left for Germany to finish his Air Force service.

Following his Honorable Discharge, he and Virgie and first child Stacey settled in Hillsboro living with Virgie’s parents Herb and Clara Hiebert while helping renovate the ‘big yellow house’ on Ash Street into their first home in Hillsboro.  The family grew with the addition of Christopher and John Ashley and lived there for the next 10 years before moving to other homes.

Johnnie was a jack of all trades kind of guy, he was intelligent and a hard worker.  One of his early jobs was as a mail carrier for USPS, the people on his route were appreciative of his earlier than scheduled deliveries  because he was a fast walker. He learned the skill of carpentry from Virgie’s father Herb which served him well throughout his life; he worked for many months renovating portions of the Marion County Courthouse, helped build and repair houses and always had projects in the works. Johnnie was also an auto and boat mechanic, welder; he could wire, heat and plumb buildings, and make or repair most anything. He was a longtime Jaycee active in civic projects such as providing playground equipment at Memorial Park or building a dunk tank that became a fixture at the Marion County Fair as a fund-raising device. He worked at Turtle Top on Main and served as Hillsboro City Superintendent for many years taking pride in his work for the City of Hillsboro.  He never shied from jumping into a ditch or street project with the crews he oversaw to help the work along. He eventually became his own boss and worked as a handyman.

One of his favorite past times was camping at Marion County Reservoir where many weekends the family’s renovated 1953 bus camper could be seen parked at French Creek Cove on ‘Liles’ point. The family enjoyed water skiing, riding motorcycles and sharing time with friends around camp fires. He built a sandrail (dunebuggy) for fun, and painted everything a coordinated orange, cream and black to match his Glastron boat which is the same model James Bond used in the 1972 movie Live and Let Die.

Johnnie and Virgie enjoyed gardening together and watching their grandkids come and go and grow up. His beloved wife Virgie died in 2002 from complications due to MS.

In 2012 Johnnie married Rhonda Epp and moved to Grove, OK to retirement life near Grand Lake ‘O the Cherokees. He suffered a stroke in February 2017 and lived with his son Chris for the last four months of his life lakeside.

Johnnie was preceeded in death by his parents George and LaVon Liles and his sister Lila Lea. He is survived by his wife Rhonda, daughter Stacey McMahan, sons Christopher and John Ashley, stepsons Scott Paul Neufeld, Kevin Matthew Neufeld and stepdaughters,Laura Lorraine Hendricks and Amy LeeAnn White along with many grandchildren and great grandchildren that love him and will remember him as the ornery and smiley grandpa.

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6 thoughts on “Johnnie Liles

  1. I remember going to the Liles home when I was kid, Jonnie always treated me like a young man. You always knew where you stood with Jonnie, he had a way of letting you know.

  2. I was a classmate of Johnnie’s sister Lila, but I do remember her little brother being a character and doing things and keeping everyone guessing where he was. Sorry for your loss of Johnnie, he turned out to be a very good guy.

  3. Johnnie and I went to school together at Mathewson. We would spend Saturday nights at the Alaskan roller rink. I haven’t seen him for many years but was glad to see he turned out to be a good and fun loving guy like we were back in the 50’s. RIP old friend.

  4. Sorry to hear about Johnnie. Just found out or I would have been at the funeral. I was so blessed to know Johnnie and the family. During this time we pray for God’s comforting arms to surround you. A kind and gentle man who loved his family so much and others as well.

  5. I know Ms. Rhonda and the Liles family and friends have saddened hearts because of losing Mr. Johnnie recently in death. So I want to share beautiful scripture where our heavenly Father, Jehovah God (Psalm 83:18), promises us that he is going to do away with man’s greatest enemy, death. Rev. 21: 4; “And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.” When our loved ones fall asleep in death, the pain and grief seems unbearable. Our loving God Jehovah understands how we feel and he comforts us by means of his word the Bible. .” Jehovah invites you to throw all your burdens on him and he will sustain you in your time of grief. (Psalm 34:18) For more comforting scriptures please visit: http://bit.ly/1K38EFt It has provided me with many more scriptures that have given me comfort, strengthened my faith and helped me find the answer to Why? I know it will do the same for you. God’s kingdom that Jesus taught us to pray for at Matt. 6: 9, 10 will bring about these wonderful promises including the resurrection. (John 5: 28, John 6:40, John 11:23-25) Isaiah 26:19 “Your dead will live……And the earth will let those powerless in death come to life.” Isaiah 25:8 “He will swallow up death forever. For Jehovah himself has spoken it.” It is my prayer these scriptures will give you comfort in your grief. Again, I offer my sincere condolences to the family. Feel free to contact me if you wish at my email address:
    I pray it will bring you comfort to please watch this beautiful video (song 144) entitled “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” https://tv.jw.org/#en/video/VODChildren/pub-pksn_24_VIDEO
    or watch this short, faith strengthening video: “Can The Dead Really Live Again?”

  6. I was also a childhood friend of Johnnie in Wichita. He was always kind hearted and silly and fun. I do remember he had curly hair. He and Lila were good kids. Sorry for your lost.

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