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James Thomas Gilliam

October 14, 1947 June 21, 2021
James Thomas Gilliam
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Obituary for James Thomas Gilliam

James Thomas “Tommy” Gilliam was born October 14, 1947 in Farmville, Virginia. After a long battle with illness, he was reunited with his heavenly Father on June 21, 2021 at age 73.
Tommy was preceded in death by his parents, Horace and Lois Gilliam. He is survived by his high school sweetheart and loving and devoted wife of 47 years, Iris Smith Gilliam. Iris became well-known with the nurses at the hospital during their last couple of stays; she was known as “the wife who treats her husband like a king.” Many of the nurses stopped and remarked, and even shed tears, telling the family how touched they were to witness the love they shared. Iris tirelessly served and met all his needs throughout the many health challenges of his last years.
Tommy is also survived by his daughter, Ginger Davis, her husband Jamie, and their sons, Worth and Ryder, of Farmville; and son, J.T, his wife Meagan, and their children Ben, Luke, and Anne Kate, of Buckingham. In addition, he leaves behind his beloved sister, Nan, her husband Ben, and their family, of Gloucester.
Tommy's childhood was spent in the rolling hills of his family's tobacco farm in rural Pamplin, Virginia. He attended school at Prince Edward Academy in Farmville, Virginia, raising his own acre of tobacco to pay for his tuition his Senior year. Upon graduation, he entered the U.S. Army where he served in Germany as a tank driver during the Vietnam War. After arriving home, he continued to serve his country for several more years in the Army National Guard.
He worked at The Carpet House in Farmville for over thirty years where he daily led a crew, training many other flooring professionals. Tommy was well-known for his strong work ethic and high standard of excellence. This reputation led many customers to personally request him for their projects. Tommy made many special lifelong friends during his time at The Carpet House.
After retiring, Tommy fulfilled a lifelong dream of fulltime farming on the family farm in Pamplin. He spent his days keeping watch over his beef cattle, jokingly called “his girls” by family. Tommy's last years were happiest when he was counting and checking on “his girls” in good weather, tucked inside with Iris watching Westerns in poor weather, and anytime family and friends came to visit.
The family will receive friends from 5pm to 6:30pm on Thursday, June 24th at Puckett Funeral Home in Farmville. A funeral service will be held Friday, June 25th at 2pm at Elon Baptist Church in Pamplin, interment to follow at Olive Branch United Methodist Church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Prospect United Methodist Church, Elon Baptist Church, or Olive Branch United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund.
Puckett Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

24

Jun

5:00 PM 6/24/2021 5:00:00 PM - 6:30 PM 6/24/2021 6:30:00 PM
Puckett Funeral Home

115 Covington Court
Farmville, VA 23901

Puckett Funeral Home
115 Covington Court Farmville 23901 VA
United States

Service

Friday

25

Jun

2:00 PM 6/25/2021 2:00:00 PM
Elon Baptist Church

137 Church St
Pamplin, VA 23958

Interment to follow at Olive Branch Methodist Church Cemetery

Elon Baptist Church
137 Church St Pamplin 23958 VA
United States
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