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.