Back to James's LifeWeb


James Elgean Gilliam, age 96, of Abilene, and formerly of Coleman, died Friday, March 24, 2023, at Wisteria Place in Abilene.

The family will host a time of visitation and reflection from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM Wednesday, March 29, 2023, at Stevens Funeral Home Chapel, 400 W. Pecan Street, in Coleman. Family and friends are invited to a graveside service following the visitation at 2:00 PM at the Coleman City Cemetery Pavilion with Ken Lyles, Chaplain at Hendrick Hospice, officiating. Interment will follow in the Coleman City Cemetery. Services are entrusted to Stevens Funeral Home in Coleman.

He was born James Elgean Gilliam on June 16, 1926, in the Buffalo Community of Coleman County to Grady James Gilliam and Odessa Horton Gilliam. James grew up in Coleman County and graduated from Buffalo High School. After graduation, James was drafted to serve in WWII and served in Korea. After receiving an honorable discharge, James returned home where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Howard Payne University in Brownwood. He later went on and received a Master’s Degree in Education from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene.

James married Lenora Powers on January 6, 1945, in Brownwood. With this union two children were born, James Elgean Gilliam, Jr. and Dale Gilliam.

James took pride in educating the young people in Coleman County and surrounding areas. His presence as an educator helped influence many young people in continuing their education and career paths. His kindness and wisdom will be missed.

Preceding James in death are his parents, his wife, Lenora Gilliam, his son, James Elgean Gilliam, Jr., and one sister, Betty Lou Stephenson Carter.

He is survived by one son, Dale Gilliam of Abilene, one grandson, Justin Gilliam and wife Kasey of Naperville, IL, three great grandchildren, Parker Gilliam, Travis Gilliam, and Finley Gilliam, and one sister, Sandra Kring of Lubbock.