We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Heavenly Gates Funeral Home
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At God’s beckoned call, Mr. John Gilliam, Jr. departed quietly from this life on Friday morning, November 19, 2021. A lifelong resident of Shreveport, Louisiana, Mr. Gilliam was born on July 6, 1928, the fifth of six children and only son born to the union of his father, Mr. John Gilliam, Sr., and mother, Mrs. Hattie Louella Johnson Gilliam.
Mr. Gilliam formally received his primary and secondary education in the Caddo Parish Public Schools system—attending and graduating from Ingersoll Elementary/Middle and Central Colored High schools in 1945. He subsequently attended Wiley College in Marshall, Texas where he received his undergraduate degree in chemistry and biology. His continued desire for greater knowledge and improvement led to his matriculation at the University of New Mexico Highlands where he earned a Master of Science degree in biology and psychology. He would later accumulate some thirty hours beyond his master’s at Louisiana state and local universities.
Beyond his collegiate days, he enlisted in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict and served until honorably discharged. His graduate studies would lead him to Chicago’s Hektoen Research Institute where he conducted medical research. As an educator, his career also included thirty years with Caddo Parish Schools serving both Booker T. Washington High and Woodlawn High schools between 1961 and 1991 as a guidance counselor and classroom instructor of biology and chemistry.
Mr. Gilliam was a stalworth of faith, belief, and commitment to God. He served as minister and evangelist with the southside Church of Christ in Marshall, TX for over fifty years where he established a weekly radio broadcast beginning in the early 1960’s until his retirement. He was a dedicated servant of God, who for many years sought to share his faith and conviction with as many who would hear the word of God. He conducted numerous bible studies and revival efforts throughout the east Texas community and throughout the country; and was an instructor and dean of men at Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, TX during the school’s infancy as an educational institution. He was a member of the Hearne Avenue Church of Christ where he worshipped after retirement, as health would allow, during his declining years.
A public viewing will be held Friday, December 3, 2021, from eleven o’clock in the morning until one o’clock in the afternoon at the Heavenly Gates Funeral Home located at 1339 Jewell Street, Shreveport, LA, 71101. An additional public viewing will be held at the Southside Church of Christ later, the same day, from four o’clock in the afternoon until six o’clock in the evening. The church sanctuary is located at 900 Elysian Fields Avenue, Marshall, TX, 75670. Funeral services will be held on, Saturday, December 4, 2021, at the Hearne Avenue Church of Christ, 6540 Hearne Avenue, Shreveport, Louisiana, 71108, at 10 o’clock in the morning. Committal and burial will be Monday, December 6, 2021 at 10 o’clock in the morning, at the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Keithville, LA.
He is preceded in death by his wife Mrs. Elnora McCoy Gilliam (2016), and their oldest son, Collis Tecumseh Gilliam (1969); his father and mother, John Gilliam, Sr. (1966) and Hattie Johnson Gilliam (1969); three sisters, Gloria Gilliam Jett (1989), Lemoria Odessa Gilliam Johnson (2008), and Hannah Gilliam Rose (2012). Mr. John Gilliam, Jr. is survived by two sons, Dr. Oliver D. Gilliam (Cheryl) of South Bend, IN, Mr. John Gilliam, III (Sherry) of Rancho Cucamonga, CA; one daughter, Mary Lynn A. Erwin (Marcus) of Fontana, CA; three granddaughters, Tiffany A. Gilliam of South Bend, IN, Gabrielle O. Gilliam of Chicago, IL, Mrs. Camille A. Burnley (Marlon) of Athens, GA; one grandson, John Gilliam, IV (Brianna)of Rancho Cucamonga, CA; two great-grandchildren, Amariah Grace Gilliam of Rancho Cucamonga, CA and August Olivier Burnley of Athens, GA; two sisters, Betty Dean Gilliam Anderson (Felton), San Bernardino, CA and Jewel Marie Gilliam Barnett, Los Angeles, CA; six nieces, four nephews, and a host of relatives and friends. The family wishes to express its sincere thanks and gratitude to the entire staff at Willis-Knighton Medical Center-South for the kind and compassionate care provided through the duration of our father’s care. A special thanks is also extended to the in-home caregivers who have provided essential support and tireless effort throughout the years under the guidance/management of his daughter