Dr. James T. Lilligren, MD

Dr. James T. Lilligren, MD

July 1944 ~ March 2018

Dr. James Lilligren, MD, age 73, died this month at Alexander Cohen Hospice in Hughson, CA. He died of AML, acute myeloid leukemia.

Jim was born in July of 1944 to John and Elvina Lilligren in Minneapolis, MN. He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents and two of his beloved dogs, Daphne and Nefertari.

Jim grew up in an area of Minneapolis called Morningside. He attended Morningside Elementary School and went on to graduate from Edina-Morningside High School in 1962. Jim continued his education at the University of Minnesota, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1966 and a doctor of medicine degree in 1971. Jim completed his rotating internship and obstetrics and gynecology residency at Valley Medical Center in Fresno, CA. He finished training in 1975 and started practicing with Dr. Marion L. Sani, MD in July 1975. In 1977 Jim became board certified and was a diplomate of F.A.C.O.G. Jim practiced in Turlock for 33 years, retiring on May 1, 2008.

Jim met Cindy Olson in July of 1966. They were married on June 7, 1969, when Jim was half way through medical school. While in his residency program in Fresno, their first son Ted was born in 1973. Their second son, Tim, was born in 1977. Besides Cindy, Ted and Tim, Jim is survived by his sister Sally (Darrel) Olson of Eden Prairie, MN. Also surviving is nephew Dr. Mitchell Olson, DDS, and nieces Jennifer A. Olson and Shelly (Shawn) Nahan. There are many more nieces and nephews and relatives in Denmark and Sweden.

Jim wanted to be known for his love of friends and family, and for his sense of humor. He also had an insatiable penchant for knowledge. Jim loved his profession and loved seeing former patients. After retirement Jim pursued his interests of gardening, fishing and reading Scandinavian mysteries. Jim was able to do more traveling and gaining knowledge of the world and its peoples. He enjoyed volunteering on Monday mornings at the United Samaritans, helping make eggs for their egg salad sandwiches. Jim was a faithful and active member of Light of Christ Lutheran Church. He was also an associate member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Santa Barbara, CA. Jim was a friend of Bill W. for twenty-six years. You could also find Jim walking Daphne in Donnelly Park and in better days doing “the stairs” at Turlock City Hall. Even at physical therapy he would see old friends and make more new friends.

Jim will be having a funeral service in Minneapolis, MN, at Lakewood Cemetery. A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 5th at 1pm at Turlock First United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of your choice. Please consider United Samaritans, Light of Christ Lutheran Church, or First United Methodist Church of Turlock.


  • Trina applegate March 26, 2018 7:55 pm

    He was an awesome doctor! He saved my life…i had a big lump on the side of my head and seen many doctors…i went to Dr. Lillagrin and he looked at me and said you have non hogkins lymphoma dear…gave me a referal…that was in 2001…im still here thanks to him! He also delivered 2 of my babies…very kind..polite and gental man…

  • Larry Peterson March 27, 2018 5:47 pm

    In high school, I had just started working as a dishwasher for the lunch counter of FW Woolworth at Southdale in Edina MN when they hired Jim. We always adjusted our schedules so we could work together. We enjoyed each other and quickly became life-long friends. One of our favorite pastimes was joking around and doing pranks at FWW and when we went to college together at UMn. Jim had a great sense of humor and a lot of creativity. We ended most summers before school started with fun road trips with other high school and college friends. A favorite pastime has been recalling those great times and I love telling the stories to anyone willing to listen.

  • Jan Graham April 2, 2018 12:42 pm

    My condolences to the Lillagrin family.
    Dr Lillagrin delivered my beautiful baby boy back in 1987. He has always been my favorite Doc in the whole world. I loved his personality and his professionalism with his patients. I was very greatful that he was my physician for so many years. My thoughts and prayers to the family.

  • Brittni Bailie April 10, 2018 3:48 am

    I’d like to say I have a personal experience that I remember with Dr.Lilligren, however I do not. He worked with my father at Emanuel, and was my biological mothers doctor. Dr.Lilligren was the FIRST to let my dad know of a possible adoption (my adoption) he introduced my biological mother to Dr.Bailie and his wife. The rest is history. I don’t know much, about him or how he lived. What I do know is my life was FOREVER changed by this man and I will be forever grateful for that. My condolences go to his friends and family. RIP.

  • Sherri elkins April 18, 2018 8:45 pm

    He was a great on doctor I had him for my kids and he was great and will be miss dearly

  • Cathy Wears April 18, 2018 10:00 pm

    He delivered my daughter Jenna Mesa August of 1998! He was a great doctor. I remember him walking in eating crackers ready to deliver her. It was a great experience with him. RIP

  • Alicia Gutierrez April 18, 2018 10:16 pm

    He delivered two of my kids he was a good doctor. My condolences to his family.

  • Jill hoskins April 18, 2018 10:50 pm

    He delivered my oldest daughter Zoey on July 12, 1995..he was a great doctor especially since I was a young mother only 17..sorry for you loss!!

  • Sandra Lopez Espino-Lopez April 18, 2018 11:03 pm

    My Compa did eight of my 10 c-sections. He and Cindy baptized 6 of those 10. I love you both you’ve always been there for Us. Angels will always be in your realm. You’ve gave life to many!

  • Rebecca Downing April 18, 2018 11:04 pm

    Lilligren was such a kind & knowledgeable doctor. Not only did he deliver me, but also my son in 1998. Being a young mother, he offered words of wisdom, encouraging labor advice and gave me great health care. And who can forget his clogs, yes, he was a very good man.
    My condolences to his friends & family.

  • Carol Romero-Saldivar April 18, 2018 11:04 pm

    He delivered my two older kids he was a very good doctor she was kind nice a good person he was making me laugh every morning in my appointments he always said that my kids was hes kids
    I named my son after him because every time he sees me he said there comes James my son my baby is 18 years his name is Michael James rest and Paradise Doctor James Lilligreen

  • Mary Eklund April 19, 2018 12:00 am

    I remember, Dr. Lilligren, as the most kind hearted and friendly doctor who delivered my second child, Julie. Each month I looked forward to the prenatal visits that help prepare me for the birth of my beautiful daughter! He was truly a unique person, who had a way of making you feel special,and I especially loved his sense of humor. My condolences to the the family. I am so sorry for your great loss. My prayers are with you at this most difficult time. May God grant you peace and comfort.

  • Trisha Huddleston April 19, 2018 12:39 am

    He my condolences to his family. He was my obgyn 99-00. He was also known to wear his crocs. Always had a joke to tell with a smile. Rest his soul.

  • Jeanette Norton April 19, 2018 12:54 am

    He was NY obey when I lived in Turlock up until he retired. He was always very cordial and made feel comfortable and even made me laugh at times.

  • Madell April 19, 2018 2:54 am

    May you r.i.p dr you delivered my 2 kids and 2 of my grandkids he was the best dr. In Turlock and he never called me by my first name he always called me pewee and when my first child was born he called her peanut i will never forget the sound of him walking down the hall way at the office the sound of his wooden shoes coming down the hall way i never forget

  • Morena Alexander April 19, 2018 3:16 am

    R.I.P. Dr. James T Lilligren, MD.. He also was my first OBGYN when I first moved to Turlock 1981. Great Doctor

  • Morena Alexander April 19, 2018 3:19 am

    R.I.P. Dr.Lilligren My first GYN when I first moved to Turlock 1981
    Prayers to you and family.

  • Kelly Christian April 19, 2018 4:12 am

    This man saved mine and my daughters life back in 1998. My first pregnancy sadly ended with a miscarriage at 3 months. I became pregnant just 2 months later and had my daughter at 7 months. Being pregnant for 10 months out of year gave me a lot of time with Dr Liligren. I could always count on him to be there…him and his noisy shoes! When I developed Preeclampsia I trusted his judgement as to how to proceed…it was a tough time ending with me in CCU and my baby in NICU…but we pulled through… thank you Dr. Liligren, you will always have a special place in my heart.

  • Sherri gunter April 19, 2018 4:33 am

    Jim saved my life when I was 19 years old and I did have the opportunity too see him so many months back maybe even a year but he remembered who I was rest in the beautiful heavens above jim

  • Scastro April 19, 2018 4:36 am

    I met Dr Lillargrin when he was in practice with Dr. Saini. Between the two they deliver 3 of 4 of babies. He also delivered my first grandson who is now 18. I also had the privilege of working in his office as a MA. He helped so many people who didn’t have insurance and helped people when other Dr’s gave up on them. God bless his family during with strength and faith during these difficult time. Rip Dr. Lillargrin

  • Lisa wlodarczyk April 19, 2018 5:13 am

    He delivered 2 of my boys july 2004 and feb 2008 loved him he knew what to say to calm u down even make u laugh… RIP DR.LILLAGRIN

  • Sherri koehn / Frank April 19, 2018 7:59 am

    I will never forget you Dr. Lilligren. I worked in OB FOR ABOUT 10 YRS. I HAVE HEARD THOSE NOISY CLOGS coming down hallway many times. You and Dr. Sani was in on my son delivery. Hope your Rose Garden still is beautiful.Rest in peace…

  • Brandi Drake April 19, 2018 11:55 am


  • Renee April 19, 2018 1:41 pm

    Dr Lilligren was one of the best Drs I ever had. He delivered my two grandchildren…and was my gyn. He always treated you with respect and talked to you about his life and cared about the whole person. His mere presence will be missed.

  • Sharon Holly (Yaddow) Sahlin April 19, 2018 3:49 pm

    Dr Lilligren delivered my first child.
    I remember when the nurse asked where he was at, when I was in labor, and they said that the hospital just had a phone call that he had run out of gas. The nurse rushed to pick up Dr Lilligren, he barely made it back to the hospital on time, and I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy son.

  • Pete De La Puente April 19, 2018 8:05 pm

    Rest In Peace Dr. Lilligren…. you will truly be missed. Thank you for your years of friendship and jokes. Thank you for delivering my 2 girls. I remember you saying hey Pete look! I’m washing windows when you were cleaning up after my Kayla was born. Thank you again for your kindness

  • Virginia Vasquez April 20, 2018 1:29 am

    Dr.Lillagrin was the best baby Dr.at Memorial Hospital in Turlock he delivered my two grandchildren one on February and the other in june he was so playful and polite with every one he will truly be missed by many R.I.P. Dr. Lillagrin our thoughts and prayers go out to his family

  • Virginia Vasquez April 20, 2018 1:30 am

    Dr.Lillagrin was the best baby Dr.at Memorial Hospital in Turlock he delivered my two grandchildren one on February and the other in june he was so playful and polite with every one he will truly be missed by many R.I.P. Dr. Lillagrin our thoughts and prayers go out to his family

  • Maria Almada April 20, 2018 4:00 am

    May he Rest In Peace. He delivered my and daughter . He was Ob doctor until he retired. Very good doctor. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  • Maria Almada April 20, 2018 4:03 am

    May he Rest In Peace. He delivered my son and mu daughter. He was my Ob doctor until he retired. Our prayers are with the family.

  • Candy Padilla April 20, 2018 10:58 pm

    I’m sad to hear this. Dr. Lillegren delivered 3 of my 4 babies (he retired before my last one was born). He was a great doctor and would always quiz my husband about how many parks there were in Tulock since he works for the City. We saw him last at Latif’s on my oldest son’s 18th birthday so all my kids took a photo with him, even the one he didn’t deliver. My he rest in peace and may his family be comforted in knowing he is in a better place. He will be missed.

  • Griselda Del Toro April 21, 2018 1:29 am

    May he rest In Peace. He deliver me in 1977 and both of my daughters one in 2004 and 2006. He was an amazing OBGYN. My condolences to all his family.

  • Patti Castles April 21, 2018 2:18 am

    You were the best doctor and one of the best men I know. I trusted you with my life many times and you never let me down . Your humor and your clogs will always be in my heart!!! I’m glad I got to see you recently !!!! You are missed!!!

  • john george April 21, 2018 3:03 am

    Rest in Peace my good doctor. 3 of my kids were delivered by Dr. Lilligren. My parents neighbor worked with him for over 2 decades and my wife adored him. When he delivered my son, it was the first time I was witnessed birth and he kept saying, if its a boy are you gonna name him James? I was like no, his name will be Joseph. I was thinking who’s James…That is when I learned Dr. Lillgren had a first name and that name was, James. He was soft spoken, cute funny and a gentleman. This area is made up of roughly 2 types of people, those who moved here from out of town and those that Dr. Lilligren gave birth to, correction, delivered (sorry ladies). . Your memory shall long live on beyond many of people and rightfully so. Godspeed.

  • Donna Aranda- Murillo April 23, 2018 4:35 am

    I am saddened to hear of his passing. It has brought back a flood of great memories. My husband worked for him when I was pregnant with my second.A girl who was very much in a hurry to make her entrance.He had one glove on when she came flying out screaming. Nobody had to slap that girl and she hasn’t been quiet since. As a matter of fact one year later as i was having my third,a boy, i made home made eggnog and we went over to his and Cindys and i went into labor. WE continued to sit there visiting and Cindy kept saying ” Don’t you think you should be going to the hospital now?” they were hard and fast but I said no I’m ok until she saw me grasping the arm of the rocker and she said honey you need to go now.We laughed and 2 hrs later my son was born. I have thought of them often.My girl was born in oct. of 1975. My condolances to Cindy.He was a sweet funny man and i will always think of clogs and a great handlebar mustache with great fondness. God Bless you all.

  • Kimberly Folkner July 17, 2018 1:56 am

    Such a great man! He delivered me and my 3 sisters, my 3 children and my niece. May he Rest In Peace.

  • James Wegner October 9, 2018 4:36 pm

    He delivered 3 of my siblings, And he was a very good doctor, from what my mom says! We miss you a lot! I was wanting to go see you but, then we found out that you padded away, Rest In Peace Doc.

  • Melinda Peterson February 26, 2019 10:12 pm

    Sadly, I just heard about Dr.Lilligren’s passing. I worked at Emanuel Hospital floated on many Floors and eventually landed in OB. But, by then I already knew Dr. Lilligren professionally and as a patient. Oh, how I remember the sound of him coming down through the surgical department hall ( before any re-modeling) with those clogs of his, pipe
    and a cup of coffee sloshing back and forth with drops of coffee following behind him.
    As a patient of his for 30 years, he delivered 2 of my 3 children. Always down to earth and easy to talk too. I’ll miss running into him in town.
    My heartfelt condolences to his wife Cindy, and sons Ted and Tim
    R.I.P. Dr. Lilligren ♥️ You’re remember fondly and forever loved.

  • Samantha Van Konynenburg-Frans June 14, 2019 3:32 pm

    Sorry to hear of your families loss. I enjoyed our many talks of farming, cheese production and of coarse babies. He was a great character and will be missed!

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