Rita Estelle Gilliam, 82, of Newnan, Georgia passed away on Monday, July 29, 2019 with her children by her side.
Born March 5, 1937 in Atlanta, Georgia, Rita was the eldest child of W.H. “Bud” Gilham, Jr. and Minnie Williams Gilham. She attended Brown High School in Atlanta, and went on to receive her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Georgia State University.
Rita was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church. It was while attending Cascade United Methodist in Atlanta that she met Blackman Gilliam, and they married there in 1960. Most recently she was a member of Turin United Methodist.
Never one to enjoy the spotlight herself, Rita always encouraged her children, their friends and her niece and nephews to pursue their talents and education. She loved to see them all shine! She was generous and caring; a lover of books, music, animals of all kinds and gardening. Rita loved to feed the wildlife in and around her yard in Newnan, and there was always a dog or cat in her lap or at her feet when she read or watched TV.
Preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Blackman, Rita is survived by her daughter, Lea Gilliam Hicks and son-in-law Garrett “Butch” Hicks of Cohutta, Georgia; son, Bradley Boyd Gilliam of Newnan; sister, Joan Gilham Ingram and her husband David; brother, W.H.”Buddy” Gilham III and his wife, Susan; nephews Greg Ingram, Alan Ingram, W.H.”Bud” Gilham IV; niece, Bonnie Gilham Freeman; and several great-nieces and great-nephews.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, August 10, 2019 from 10 a.m.-12 noon at Parrott Funeral Home 8355 Senoia Rd, Fairburn, Georgia. Inurnment will follow at 1 p.m. at Turin Memorial Garden in Turin, Georgia.
Flowers may be sent to Parrott Funeral Home or donations in Rita’s memory may be given to the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org .