James "Sonny" O. GilliamFebruary 10, 1927 ~ November 27, 2016 (age 89)
James (Sonny) O. Gilliam 89 passed away in Bradenton FL on November 27, 2016 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease and complications.
Born in Yonkers NY Feb 10, 1927 the son of Oliver P and Mary Lyons Gilliam. Sonny lived in Yonkers until 16 years old attending the Saunders Trade School taking courses in pipe fitting, welding, electrical and boatbuilding. His family then
moved to Maine where he became a fisherman and did boat builder with his father.
Sonny served proudly in the Army during WW2 and was stationed in France, Austria, Germany, and Gorizia Italy.
He also worked as a Leading man in Bath Iron Works Pipe Shop for many years. Eventually he returned to the sea, fishing on his pride and joy the “Molly and Jane”.
In 1977 Sonny and Margaret started wintering in Palmetto FL. He worked at Snead Island Boat Works and returned to Maine for the summer months.
He enjoyed playing his guitar and singing with friends. Sonny was a storyteller of the “good old days” keeping everyone in stitches. He was always trying to help somebody figure something out. He was an adventurous soul, taking up flying and then scuba diving.
He is predeceased by his parents, Oliver P and Mary Lyons Gilliam, 3 brothers Philmore, Robert and Norman plus one sister Maureen Murphy, 2 sons James Jr and Anthony Gilliam.
Sonny is survived by his wife, Margaret of 69 years, one son Dana and his wife Lynne, one daughter Elaine and her husband Skip Cahill. He is also survived by 5 granddaughters and one grandson, 5 great granddaughters and 5 great grandsons.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, June 30, 2017 at 10:30am at Morningside Cemetery, Phippsburg.