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  • "To Nikki and Gilliam Family, May God bless you with courage..."
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GILLIAM JAMES GILLIAM, JR., MD, PhD. On January 25, 2014 Dr. James Gilliam, Jr., MD, PhD of Columbia, Maryland died after a long battle of cancer. He was born in Newark, NJ on September 3, 1933 to Vera Mae (Donalson) and James Gilliam Sr. Dr. James Gilliam, Jr. graduated from Central High School in Newark, NJ in 1951. In 1955, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), and upon graduation, entered the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer. Dr. Gilliam served active duty for 7 years in the army both in the US and overseas, first in Northern Germany as a drone unit commander, and later in Korea for 13 months before returning to Fort Wadsworth military base in Staten Island, NY. While in Staten Island, Dr. Gilliam provided military clearance for workers constructing the New York Verrazano Bridge that now connects the boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island in New York City. After rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, he enrolled in Howard University Medical School of Pharmacology where he received his M.D. in 1969. In 1973, Dr. Gilliam earned his Ph.D. from Howard University. He was a commissioned officer with the United States Public Health Services (USPHS) Hospital in Staten Island, N.Y. and rose to the ranks of Commander while practicing medicine first as an anesthesiologist and later as Deputy Chief of Anesthesiology with the Wyman Park Health System, now Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Gilliam retired from NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences as a program administrator in Pharmacological Sciences. At NIH, he administered a vast portfolio of research and grants in pharmacology, anesthesiology, biomedical research and genetics. He was actively involved in and passionate about his work with students and educators in the Maryland Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) and with the Howard County Maryland Board of Education Science Advisory Committee. Additionally, served as treasurer and historical archivist for the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Atlantic City, NJ. Dr. Gilliam also served enthusiastically as Executive Director of the Atlantic City Education Foundation. Mourning his loss is his beloved and devoted daughter, Juliet Nicole Gilliam, Columbia, Maryland. He was married to Janet Scales Gilliam who preceded him in death. He is also survived by a brother, Attorney Latha A. Gilliam; nephews, Lorenzo D. Gilliam II, Latha Alexander Gilliam, niece Ashley Mariah Gilliam, all residing in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey; Walter Abilla (Theo), Galloway, New Jersey; Bobby Abilla (Dr. Claire), Jersey City, New Jersey; nieces, Tadai Abilla, Washington, DC; Jackie Abilla, Prairie View, Texas, Carole and Christine Abilla, Novi, Michigan and adopted sister Dr. Yvonne Freeman, Snellville, Georgia. Additionally he leaves a host of wonderful family members, and life-long friends. His beloved sister Redenia Gilliam Mosee and brother Lorenzo D. Gilliam preceded him in death. Service will be held at St. John Baptist Church, 9055 Tamar Drive, Columbia, Maryland on Friday, January 31, 2014, viewing from 9:30 a.m. until time of service at 11 a.m. Interment at Parklawn Memorial Park, Rockville, MD. In lieu of flowers, please make donation to the Maryland Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA), JHU-APL Maryland Mesa, 11100 Johns Hopkins Rd., Laurel, MD 20732-6099. Mail Stop 7-102 (443) 778-5382 or St. John Baptist Church Scholarship Fund, 9055 Tamar Dr.,Columbia, MD 21045 (410) 992-6977. Arrangements by McGuire Funeral Service. www.mcguire-services.com

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Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 29, 2014
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