John C. Lilly Jr.
November 23, 2007
John C. Lilly Jr., a filmmaker and writer who explored human consciousness, died Nov. 17, in Zacatecas, Mexico. He was 70 years old.
John Lilly was born in St. Paul, Minn., in 1937, the son of Dr. John C. Lilly and Mary Crouch Lilly. He was a member of the first class of Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale in 1952.
He attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and did some of his first work in filmmaking with his brother, Charles, in Hollywood.
Mr. Lilly, an ethnocinematographer, was an authority on the Huichol Indian culture of central Mexico, and was invited into their communities to experience and record their traditions and way of life. Work he did with his wife, Colette, is in the permanent collection of the Museo Arte Contemporaneo Huichol in Zacatecas. He served on the board of directors of Conservacion Humana, an organization that maintains one of the most complete archives of field notes, documents, papers, photographs, audiotapes and films on Huichol culture.
Lilly had a lifelong interest in railroads, publishing articles extensively in Mexico and the United States on the subject of light-rail transportation. The Sierra Club hired him in the 1980s to lecture on preserving the rail line from Glenwood Springs to Aspen.
Lilly is survived by his wife, Colette Lilly, of Zacatecas; his mother, Mary Lilly, of Carbondale; and an uncle, David Lilly, of St. Paul. His father, Dr. John C. Lilly, and his brother, Charles Lilly, preceded him in death.