Ray Gilliam PDF Print E-mail

Ernest Ray Gilliam, Sr., 92, of Newberry, widower of Helen Mae Wicker Gilliam, died Friday, December 30, 2011, at White Oak Manor.

Born on June 5, 1919, in Pomaria, he was a son of the late James Newton and Annie Belle Bishop Gilliam. He was an Army veteran of World War II where he was a Tech Sergeant who served as a Radio Technician. He received an associate degree from Cornell University. Mr. Gilliam held a First Class Operators License from the FCC and was employed as the chief engineer for radio station WKDK for 60 years. He was also the owner of Ray's Radio and TV for over 40 years. Mr. Gilliam was a very active member of Lewis United Methodist Church where he was a member of the Millie Hamby Sunday School Class and a former lay leader, lay speaker, chairman of the building committee, and Sunday School teacher. He was a former member of the Newberry Civitan Club and the National H.A.M. Operators Association. Mr. Gilliam was a avid photographer and enjoyed the Atlanta Braves.

He is survived by sons, Ernest Ray (Mary) Gilliam, Jr. of Clinton and Larry Floyd Gilliam of Irmo; a daughter, Linda (Sammie) Graham of Newberry; brothers, Rev. T. C. Gilliam of Elloree and Eugene Gilliam of Newberry; nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Mr. Gilliam was predeceased by a daughter, Helene Maria Frick, a sister, Helen Kibler and brothers, Duane Gilliam, Clyde Gilliam, Rev. J.O. Gilliam, and Virgil Lee Gilliam.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 pm Monday, January 2, 2012, at Lewis Memorial United Methodist Church by the Rev. Jimmy Counts. Burial will follow in Newberry Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be Sunday from 6:00 -8:00 pm at McSwain-Evans Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to Lewis Memorial United Methodist Church, 1105 First Street, Newberry, SC 29108.

Active pallbearers will be Brian Baucom, Gerald Frick, Jeremy Frick, Alex Gilliam, Kevin Gilliam, Brandon Graham and Bryan Graham.

Honorary pallbearers will be the staff of Radio Station WKDK, members of the Millie Hamby Sunday School Class and the staff of White Oak Manor.

A memorial message may be written to the family by clicking the "Add Comment" link below.



#12 Connie Rayfield 2012-01-04 11:42
What a humble and sweet man. He never failed at Lewis Church when he was able to attend, that he did not knod his head and share his pleasant sweet smile. Prayers are with you all. In friendship,Conn ie A. Rayfield
#11 Donna Coggins Burnette 2012-01-03 09:27
Please know that I was so sorry to learn of Ray's death. The entire Gilliam Family is in my many prayers and thoughts. What a blessing Ray was to WKDK and I know that my mother and father were celebrating his arrival in Heaven with our Lord and Savior. May you feel the Lord's peace and presence during this difficult time. You will continue to be in my prayers. Much love and blessings to you. Donna Coggins Burnette (the youngest daughter of Marcia and Jimmie Coggins)
#10 Becky Wicker 2012-01-02 16:59
I just read Ray's obit on the internet. I'm so sorry for the loss but know that he's in a happier place with Helen and Maria and all his other loved ones. My deepest sympathy is with you.
#9 Danny Thomas 2012-01-02 09:33
Puney Ray will be getting back together with Helen Mae and Darling Maria. Blessings to your earthly family as they feel like mine also. So happy for each and everyone of you in the time of your sadness. Danny
#8 Melinda Moss 2011-12-31 21:05
To the Gilliam Family,
I am sorry for your loss. We at White Oak were honored to care for Mr. Gilliam while he lived with us. We will miss him greatly. May God hold you firmly in His hands during this difficult time.
#7 mike hamilton 2011-12-31 17:26
my condolences to larry & the family

hamp hamilton
#6 Randy Cannon 2011-12-31 16:22
Ray, W4HIA, may have been the first Ham Radio operators in Newberry. He will be missed in the community. My symphaties to the family and many many friends.
#5 Clyde & Polly Turner 2011-12-31 14:57
Ernest,Larry,Li nda & Family I'm so sorry to hear of Ray's passing . He's smiling down from Heaven on each of you as he is with Helen & Maria. I have such fond memories of him and Helen.Take comfort in knowing he's in a better place. Hold on to all the wonderful memories you have of him. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
#4 Jim and Bette 2011-12-31 11:57
Ray was a one of a kind person- A true Wizard of Newberry kind of electronic guru. He fawned over his tubes and gizmos at the station, and knew his stuff. Sympathies to the family.
Jim and Bette Murray
#3 Jim and Bette 2011-12-31 11:57
Ray was a one of a kind person- A true Wizard of Newberry kind of electronic guru. He fawned over his tubes and gizmos at the station, and knew his stuff. Sympathies to the family.
Jim and Bette Murray
#2 ruby jean point 2011-12-31 11:44
The childhood memories are still so vivid in my mind. Mr. Ray, Ms. Helen and Maria will always be in my heart. Linda,think about all those great times and how happy they must be now in heaven!

Ruby Jean
#1 Wilson Senn 2011-12-31 08:58
Heaven radio has a new engineer. Mr. Gilliam was still at the station when I would help some with the sports broadcasts. I asked him to invent a switch to make it sound like I half-way knew what I was talking about but it seemed like he never could come up with one to disguise my very distinctive southern accent I'm told I have. My sympathies to the Gilliam and the WKDK families.