Ray Gilliam, age 92, of Flemingsburg Road, Morehead, passed away on March 31, 2021, at the Ridgeway Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility in Owingsville, Kentucky.
He was born December 30, 1928, in Greenbriar, Kentucky, to the late Green and Cora Waddell Gilliam. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Jeanene Eldridge Gilliam; one brother, Ottis Gilliam; and two sisters, Hazel Smoot and Frieda Cartwright.
Survivors include four children, Karen Barker (Jim) of Morehead, Paul Gilliam of Morehead, David Gilliam (Beverly) of Morehead, and Keely Slone (Mike) of Nicholasville, Kentucky. Other survivors include nine grandchildren, Kipp Barker (Lisa), Kim Tabor (Mike), Ashley Gilliam, Josh Day (Elizabeth), Casey Moore (Jessica), Ramsey McCoy, Bristol Snelling (Thomas), Tessa Gilliam, and Reese Slone. He is also survived by four great grandchildren, Kellen Tabor, Reilly Barker, Michael “Cole” Moore, and Eden Snelling.
Additional survivors include one brother, Mike Gilliam (Shirley) of Morehead, as well as nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Ray is now with the love-of-his-life, Jeanene, who went on to Heaven in 1983. Ray was a man who loved his family and friends above all else. Everyone always knew it and felt it. He enjoyed the simple things. It was common to see him swinging on his front porch or in his back yard. Most of the time, while swinging, he’d also be throwing a tennis ball to “Tucker,” the family dog. They had a special connection.
Throughout his life, Ray was a hard worker and loved going to work. He held several jobs. He was employed at Harbison Walker, Cowden Manufacturing, Cloud Concrete, Big Store Furniture, and Ed Mabry’s Carpetland.
When Ray suffered a heart attack several years ago, from that point on, he became an advocate for walking and dancing. He loved to do both. He told everyone that exercise saved his life. He felt better after his heart attack than before it. Ray was a regular at the Big Woods Jamboree before it closed. The dancing buddies that he met there have remained really close and checked on him regularly.
Ray loved bluegrass and country music. One of his favorites was Dolly Parton. Most of the time he could be seen wearing a sweatshirt or t-shirt with her picture on the front. He loved to hear her sing. He attended countless bluegrass festivals and other concerts.
Car shows were also a passion of Rays. He would take his 1972 Chevy truck and usually come home with a trophy. He enjoyed walking the rows of vehicles and talking with all the people. He made lots of new friends.
Ray loved to travel and was always up for a trip. He loved his picture taken, as well.
An important part of his life was church. He was a Christian man with a kind heart and was a member of the Haldeman Church of God. His church family was very special to him. He delighted in telling all the things that the kids in church had done on Sunday morning and all the sweet comments they said to him that day. He looked forward to each church service.
Ray will be missed by many people, especially his family. He lived an honorable life that has left examples to be followed by everyone who was blessed to know him.
Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, April 3, 2021, at Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals Memorial Chapel with Pastor Ron Clatos officiating. Entombment will follow in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens Mausoleum.
Pallbearers will be Kim Tabor, Kipp Barker, Mike Tabor, Kellen Tabor, Josh Day and Reese Slone.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 3, 2021, at Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals, 400 Fraley Drive, Morehead, KY 40351.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Haldeman Church of God, 280 Erwin Road, Morehead, KY 40351.
The family requests that everyone wears a mask, practice social distancing, and follow all COVID-19 guidelines.
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