Valdosta Daily Times


April 17, 2014

Willa Dean Gilliard

-- — Willa Dean Gilliard was born April 17, 1940 in Lakeland, Ga.,  to the late Theodore and Gladys Wright.

There was magic in Willa’s touch and sunshine in her smile. There  was love in everything she did that made her children’s lives worthwhile. Her laughter was a source of joy; her works were warm and wise. She was loving, caring, hard-working, and the absolute best mother/father combo whom you could depend through the good and bad times.

Willa was granted eternal rest Saturday, April 12, 2014.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband: Joe Gilliard, Jr.; one sister, Gladys Mae Wright; two brothers: Robert Wright and Emory Wright; and her grandparents, Martin Wright, Anna Wright, Ben Johnson and Delia Johnson.

She leaves to cherish her memories, her children, Winifred Washington, of Valdosta, Sharon Hampton of Valdosta, Jackie Moore (James) of Nashville, Ga., Joe Gilliard III (Hideko) of Okinawa, Japan, Kevin Gilliard of Lakeland, Fla., and Shemer Gilliard of Valdosta; five sisters,  Willirea Jones (Raymond) of Valdosta, Beverly Copeland, Valdosta, Loretha Woods of Valdosta, Maxine Brice (Stuart) and Linda Preston of Maryland; three brothers: Willie Wright (Brenda) of Lakeland, Ga., John Cecil (Catherine) of Valdosta, and Jimmy Wright (Rita) of Valdosta; 20 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 19, 2014, at 11 a.m., from the sanctuary of New Bryant Missionary Baptist Church, 76 E Mill Street, Lakeland, Ga.  Pastor Jasper Daniels, Jr. is pastor and Dr.  Norman Edwards will officiate.  Interment will follow in Charles Knight Cemetery, Lakeland, Ga.  Public viewing will be today from noon to 8 p.m. at Godfrey Funeral Home.

Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at —  Godfrey Funeral Home.

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