In Celebration of the Life and Accomplishments 










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Tributes by Speakers
Personal Tributes as presented during Lilyan's Memorial Celebration

Jackie Zeman:
Lilyan was my friend.  She was also an important role model to me because her presence in my life had heartfelt positive, significant, impact. 

Lilyan was intelligent, bright, creative, funny, strong willed, focused...and she loved to teach and share her knowledge.  I learned so much from her. I admired the way she lived her life-always learning and growing fearlessly with curiosity, confidence and generosity.  I admired her acting, directing and coaching skills.  She directed Kin Shriner and me in a play, Seacliff, California, which we did twenty years ago in an equity waiver theater.  She had so many great ideas...her contribution to our performances was huge...and so appreciated.  We trusted her and were inspired by her and she gave us confidence because we believed her when she said a scene was good.  We knew she wouldn't allow us to be less than the best we could be.

She was always a step ahead. Lilyan had clarity of vision and she was an excellent communicator.  It was a joy to know her and work with her because she made the process interesting and exciting and fun.  We had great respect and appreciation for Lilyan's professionalism and we knew that we could depend on her.

Lilyan was also a treasured friend.  We stayed in touch over the years even when we were not working together.  She was vibrant and energetic and active...and even though she led a very busy life, through the years she always made the time to connect and stay in touch.  She would share her experiences and she enjoyed hearing about my life, my children and my work.  And it was always exciting for me to hear about all the fascinating things she was doing. 

Lilyan was also a friendly producer.  When Glenn and I got married she came to our wedding with a video camera...shot the ceremony....and gave it to us as a gift.  Awesome.   When Tony Geary and I mentioned to her one day that we were interested in learning some french she said "I'll teach you,"  and she came to the studio several times a week to give us lessons during lunch.  She had a massive amount of positive energy and knowledge which she was always willing and never hesitated to share.

Lilyan's presence and her friendship has enriched my life in so many ways, so many times over the years.  I will miss her.

God bless you, Lilyan. You are a positive force and an inspiration to all who have known you and loved you.

Jackie Zeman

Margaret Burdge
Lily was a patient in our hospital when I met her. At first, my concern was for Lily’s quality of life--her dignity and her sense of meaning, purpose and hope. But she was pretty self-contained and so well supported by Julie and her dear friend, Jacqueline, that my attention went to supporting Julie. Julie was a single-mindedly faithful, conscientious, protective friend and caregiver! Julie taught me about Lilyan Chauvin, the great actor, director, teacher, and her own soul sister. She so wanted Lily to live! But that began to look less and less likely. And, Julie struggled.

As it usually goes, no one saw it coming better than Lily herself. She began to ask profound questions. In time, I came to know Lily with a quality of intimacy that can be the unique privilege of a hospital chaplain. My discovery, was a woman of deep beauty, intelligence and wisdom--wonderfully introspective and curious, honest, earthy, and forgiving. Her humor was delightful; her devotion to students, inspiring. I say our relationship came, “in time”--in dying, people enter eternal time, and intimacy can happen in the flash of a question, revelation in a gesture. When I read and hear your stories, I, who knew Lilyan Chauvin for only a few short days, can join the celebration of Lily, the artist, teacher and friend.

It was Lily’s dignity and courage in the face of death that was most moving to me. She was stunned by what was happening to her. Her spirituality shone through, not in religious beliefs, but in her questions, and in the way she loved her neighbor as herself. Lily approached death with characteristic mind and heart, with great dignity. In addition to all she has left to the wide world, Lilyan Chauvin left our little hospital a better place for her brief presence in it.

We’ve come to the moment of ritual blessing. Blessing actually occurs always and everywhere: Lily’s life was and is and always will be a blessing. Our memories, stories and heart-connections to her are an ongoing blessing of Lily, of ourselves and of whoever will hear them. To mark the blessing I’m going to use the ancient and familiar words of the Priestly Blessing. After all, it is meant for community, for all of us--you, me, and of course, for our beloved Lily. I think she would like it that way. I invite us to let these ancient words wash over us as they’re meant to wash over our Lily, for all eternity:

The Priestly Blessing
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen

Margaret Burdge

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