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Earnie James Gilliam
January 4, 1925 ~ September 12, 2023 (age 98) 98 Years Old
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Earnie James Gilliam, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great grandfather, passed away on September 12, 2023, at the age of 98. Born to the late Samuel and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Gilliam on January 4, 1925, in Sandy Hook, KY, Earnie's journey through life was marked by resilience, dedication, and a deep love for his family.
Throughout his career as a machinist in the factory industry, he worked diligently at Chrysler Air Temp in Dayton, OH, leaving an indelible mark on his colleagues and friends. Earnie's dedication and craftsmanship were evident in all that he did, both professionally and personally.
Beyond work, Earnie found joy in simple pleasures. He possessed a talent for creating beautiful brass lamps from antique gasoline torches, an outlet through which he expressed his creativity and passion for tools and being in his garage. He enjoyed country cruising, observing the beauty of his home state as he traveled along the winding back roads of Kentucky. Watching sports played a significant role in his life, with UK basketball and the Cincinnati Reds being among his favorite teams to support. Earnie also cherished taking care of his yard, tending to the rose bushes at his home in Fairborn OH and cultivating a space of tranquility and beauty. Board games like Pollyanna and Sorry were another source of joy and connection for him, creating lasting memories with his friends.
Earnie's devotion to his family was immeasurable. He is survived by his daughter's Garnette Walker and Janice Gilliam, and his adoring spouse Mary Alice Parsons White. He also leaves behind cherished memories in the hearts of his stepchildren, Shannon White (Joan), Roma Farge (Mike), Delaine Rajczyk, Janelle McBride (John) and their families, grandchildren Rhonda Bailey, James Whitaker (Lori), Mathew Walker (Sara), Whitney Walker, and great-grandchildren Caleb Whitaker, Benjamin Walker, William Walker, Lucy Walker, and great-great grandson Logan Whitaker.
In addition to his parents, Earnie is preceded in death by his first wife, Gertrude Adkins Gilliam and second wife, Patsy West Gilliam. Five siblings, Arthur Gilliam, Ernest Gilliam, Earl Gilliam, Cleffie Lewis and Audrey Gilliam.
Earnie's sense of duty extended beyond his family, as he fought valiantly for his country as a member of the United States Army during World War II. Enlisting on November 25, 1944, and achieving the rank of Sergeant E5, he served with honor and distinction until his honorable discharge on October 28, 1946.
In accordance with his wishes, Earnie will be cremated. There will be a private graveside service at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery North East in Grayson, Kentucky.
Earnie James Gilliam's legacy will continue to live on, resonating in the hearts of all those whose lives he touched. His unwavering dedication, love, and zest for life will be deeply missed and forever cherished. May he rest in eternal peace.
Earnie attended church at the First Methodist Church, his family request in lieu of flowers those donations be made in his honor: First Methodist Church, P.O. Box 725, Mt. Sterling, Kentucky 40353.