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Family-Placed Death Notice
GILLILAND, Thomas (Continued from previous column) Among his many pastimes, Mr. Gilliland was a lifelong outdoorsman. Many of his most cherished memories were of adventures in the field, especially those with his two sons. He achieved a lifelong goal by earning his pilot's license in 2005, and for years would rise early to fly around his home in the mountains. He was blessed with a deeply loving wife with whom he raised two sons and countless dogs, and built a great life. He was a member of the Gridiron Secret Society, the Capital City Club in Atlanta, and the Athens Country Club. Mr. Gilliland's life was shorter than most, but he filled his years with a richness of life few are privileged to claim. He was an uncommon man, with energies too abundant to confine to any one sphere. For his charisma, wit, and fun-loving nature he accumulated friends wherever he went; for his faithfulness, he kept them. He was as comfortable appearing before the U.S. Senate as he was walking into a country store in the mountains. His intellectual curiosity and profound memory struck all who had the privilege of knowing him-he was equally at ease discussing great literature, politics, or tractors, whether around a campfire or a dinner table. His friends were as diverse as his interests: he befriended artists, poets, farmers and ranchers just as readily as senators and CEOs. He gave more to his friends and loved ones than he asked or expected of them, and for more than a few men he was like a second father. He will be remembered for his great intellect, his quick wit, for tirelessly giving more of himself than he received, for quietly helping anyone in need, for rising early and taking risks, for his tolerance and compassion, and most of all for being a devoted and loving husband, father, and friend. He is survived by his beloved wife, Candy, his two sons, Thomas Candler Gilliland Jr. and Jason Wansley Gilliland, his aunt Blanche Candler and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and in-laws. Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at Athens First United Methodist Church with Rev. Chuck Hodges and Rev Martha Aenchbacher officiating, followed by a reception at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that contributions be made to the Athens First United Methodist Church, 327 North Lumpkin St., Athens, Ga. 30601, or to The University of Georgia Honors Program, c/o UGA Foundation, Milledge Centre, Suite 100, 394 S Milledge Ave, Athens, GA 30602. Online condolences may be offered at www.bernsteinfunerlahome.com Bernstein Funeral Home and Cremation Service is in charge of arrangements.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Apr. 3, 2013