Cassandra Lillard Reed, 66, of Danville, went to glory with her Heavenly Father on Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 at 1:40 p.m.
Cassandra Lillard Reed, known to many as Nini, was born to the union of Mandy Othella (Turner) Lillard and Theotto Lillard, Jr. on Dec. 20, 1949, in Danville, at St. Elizabeth Hospital.
Cassandra married Jerry Lee Reed, SR. on Dec. 19, 1970 and was blessed to be together for 45 years, almost making it to 46 years. Together they raised two sons, Jerry, Jr. and Terian. They both still reside in Danville. She was also blessed with nine grandchildren, one great-grandchild and a special daughter, Brenda DuHart.
Cassandra loved children. For this reason, at the age of 19, she decided that the best way to educate and reach young children was through education. For 35 ½ years she taught children at different levels and different schools to try and help steer them to a better way of life and to succeed in life as well.
Cassandra could do it all. She could play basketball, pitch horse shoes, swim, cut grass, trim hedges, paint, crochet, knit, fix houses, refurnish furniture and rap (a rapper in 1968 with a recording). She could do all this and more and she was really good at it.
The most important thing in her life was how she valued and respected people. Her signature saying after every speech was "It's nice to be important, but even more important to be nice." She was full of life, outgoing and never met a stranger.
Cassandra leaves to cherish her memory her loving husband, Jerry Reed, Sr.; two sons: Jerry, Jr. (Yolanda) and Terian (Ashley); three sisters: Twania Lillard of Rancho Cucamungo, Calif., Jill (Pastor John N.) Staples of Stockbridge, Ga. and Portia (Eugene Webb) Lilland of Danville; four brothers: Theotto III Lillard, Graylen Lillard and Craig (Elaine) Lillard all of Danville, and Danny Lillard of Canton, Ill.; step-mother, Olivia Lillard; step-brothers; step-sisters; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Cassandra was preceded in death by her parents, Theotto Jr and Mandy Othella (Turner) Lillard; brothers: Baby boy Lillard and Randy Lillard; paternal grandparents, Theotto and Geraldine (Martin) Lillard; and maternal grandparents, Collis and Mary B. (Hillsman) Turner.
A Home Going Celebration will commence at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at New Life Church of Faith, 1419 N. Bowman Ave. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Viewing will be from 1-5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at Leek & Sons Funeral Home, 304 E. Williams. Officiating: Elder Tommie Reed. Interment will be at Danville National Cemetery.
Condolences can be sent to www.leekandsons.com.
Cassandras accomplishments included:
1968 - Graduate of Danville High School
1970 - Associate Degree in Science Danville Area Community College
1972 - Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation from Eastern Illinois University
1974 - Elementary K-9 Teaching Certificate from Eastern Illinois University
Endorsements: Upper Elementary/Jr. High; Physical Education/Social Science
1976 - Master's Degree in Instructional Media from Eastern Illinois University
1980 - General Administrative K-12 Certification
My Goal: to continue to grow in all my endeavors to serve others.
Danville School District #118 Committees served on:
Screening committee for the 1990 selection of Danville High School Principal
Serves as a Unit Leader
Ownership in Education Committee
Pilot Kindergarten reading book series
Served on District #118 Strategic Planning Committee
Co-Chair District #118 Communication Strategic Planning Committee
Served on Committee for the new Daniel Elementary School
Elementary Academic Team Leader
Danville (DEA)/Illinois (IEA)/National (NEA) Education Association Activities:
DEA President 1986-1991
DEA Grievance Committee for Elementary and Middle School
DEA Bargaining Team Member and Chief Spokesperson
Participated in Traditional and Collaborative forms of Bargaining
DEA Mentoring Committee member
Member of IEA/NEA Black Caucus
Member of IEA Minority Caucus
Delegate to IEA and NEA Representative Assembly
IEA Intern for UniServ Director
IEA-NEA RA Planning Committee member 1999-2000
IEA-NEA RA Collective Bargaining Committee member
Region 8 Secretary
Region 8 Vice-Chairperson
Region 8 Chairperson
Served as a member and Chair of the Large Local Task Force
Served as a Congressional Contact Person
Served as a member of the Constitution and By-laws Committee
Served as a member and Chair of the Waiver Task Force
Served on the Board of Directors/Serving on the IEA Computer Committee
Serving as a member of the Collective Bargaining Committee
NEA member of the Employee Advocacy Committee
NEA Moderator for the Retirement and Benefit Forum
Other Memberships and Community Committees served on:
Second Baptist Church member
Second Baptist Church Sunday School Teacher
Phi Delta Kappa
Delta Kappa Gamma
Served on Workforce Challenge 2000/Education to Careers
Served on East Central Illinois Partnership for Excellence in Education
Served as Treasurer for East Central Illinois Partnership for Excellence in Education
Leadership Danville First Class/Leadership Danville Alumni
Leadership Danville Steering Committee
Danville Area Community College Minority Advisory Council
Appointed by the Mayor to serve on the Greater Danville City Plan Commission
Volunteer Trainer for Danville Peer Court
Volunteer for United Way Fund and Muscular Dystrophy/Unicef
Veterans Administration Volunteer
East Central Illinois Education to Careers Partnership
Past member of the YWCA Board of Directors
Served on Legislative District #53 School Funding Task Force
Halo Study Circle participant on Race Relations 2000
Published on  December 7, 2016