The Rev. R. Kenneth Lile

Aug 30, 2013

Lake Junaluska — The Rev. Kenneth “Ken” Lile, 81, of 2237 S. Lakeshore Drive, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 at his residence.

Kenneth was a gifted musician, caring pastor, passionate teacher and true friend. A native of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, he had resided in Haywood County since 1996. He was the son of the late Roy William and Sue Grace Lile and was preceded in death by three sisters, Mary Evelyn Cloud, Ivyl Marie Buck and Flossie Jane Cartwright and one brother, William Garland Lile.

The Rev. Lile was a graduate of Hopkinsville High School; Peabody College of Nashville, Tennessee; Birmingham-Southern College of Birmingham, Alabama; Garrett Evangelical Seminary at Northwestern University; and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He received his bachelor and master of theology degrees at Drew University and a Ph.D. ABD honorary degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, Kentucky. The Rev. Lile served as an ordained elder in the Louisville annual conference of the United Methodist Church for 42 years. Since retirement, he faithfully attended First United Methodist Church of Waynesville. His lifelong passion for music culminated with 15 years as an organist for the Memorial Chapel at Lake Junaluska.

He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Martha Carol Pillow Lile; one son, Chaplain (LTC) David Wesley Lile and his wife, Gladys Niña Lile, their three children Kenneth Wesley Lile, Joshua Jackson Lile, and Rachel Maria Lile, all of Fort Bragg; a daughter, Rebecca Kay Lile and her husband, David Wangerin-Lile, and their two children Nathan Wangerin Lile and Christopher Wangerin Lile, all of Waynesville.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 at First United Methodist Church of Waynesville with the Rev. Sanford Giles officiating. Inurnment will be in the Room of Memory Columbarium at Memorial Chapel, Lake Junaluska, at a later date. The family will receive friends 1 hour prior to services.

In memory of the Rev. R. Kenneth Lile, memorials may be made to the Memorial Chapel at Lake Junaluska Organ Fund, c/o The Office of Development, P.O. Box 67, Lake Junaluska, NC  28745.

Wells Funeral Homes & Cremation Services of Waynesville is in charge of arrangements. An online memorial register is available at

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