Mrs. Dorothy L. Gilliam died peacefully on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 in Portsmouth, Ohio at the age of 88. Dorothy is survived by two sons, Jerry Michael Gilliam (Jo Ellen) of Port Clinton, Ohio and Jon Charles Gilliam (Tony Frisby) of Philadelphia, PA, as well as grandchildren Joshua Michael Gilliam (Jamie Lynn) and Nicholas Michael Gilliam (Corinne) and two Great Grandchildren (Jaxon and Henlie). She is preceded in death by her husband Charles Alvin Gilliam of Minford, Ohio. Dorothy was born on July 4th, 1931 in Minford Ohio to Linda Debo and Xavier Debo. She graduated from Minford High School in 1948, and married Charles on July 13, 1952. After moving to Caledonia, Ohio, Dorothy was actively involved volunteering in the community there including at the American Cancer Society, as a Boy Scout mother giving swimming lessons, and providing computer education training at Caledonia Elementary School. Her children remember her as an intelligent and fiercely independent person who had overcome many hard and difficult obstacles in her life. She had a steadfast dedication to those close to her which motivated her to become a caregiver to many friends and family over the years. This included the long-term care she provided in her home to her own mother, who was bedfast with rheumatoid arthritis. Over the years, Dorothy also provided care to others in the face of deteriorating health near the end of their lives, including her mother-in-law Donna Gilliam, her husband Charles, and her brother Russel Debo. Dorothy was a life-long learner, and at mid-life when computers were first becoming available for home use, she set about learning their use along with her son Jon, which launched him on his eventual career. She loved teaching and interacting with young people, and as a volunteer computer instructor at the local elementary school, she had an impact on many young minds. She was a passionate amateur photographer and scrap-booker, compiling many albums of photos of the family annotated with family history. Dorothy was also a dedicated member of the Church, and later in life taught herself by ear how to play the piano with enough skill to play during services.
Funeral services will be conducted 1:00 p.m. Sunday, October 13, 2019 at Erwin-Dodson-Allen Funeral Home in Minford Ohio with Pastor Jim Dummitt officiating. Burial will be at Beaver Union Cemetery in Beaver, OH. Friends may call at the funeral home from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. prior to the service on Sunday. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Dorothy’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to SOMC Hospice at 2201 25th Street, Portsmouth, Ohio 45662. The family would like to thank the caregivers at SOMC Hospice as well as Jeanie Creech, Delmer and Debbie Parker for their efforts and dedication.
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