G. W. Carver Alumni's Beloved First Lady
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Mrs. Dorothy B. Gilliam, 100 was born in Speed, NC on October 22, 1912. She passed into eternal rest Sunday October 28, 2012. Her family moved to Rocky Mount, NC when she was two weeks old. She is the daughter of the late Mr. Louis (LD) Bellamy and the late Idelia Dickens Bellamy. She had one brother, James Bellamy who precedes her in death. She was a devoted wife to the late Mr. Samuel Alexander Gilliam for sixty-three years.
She attended the Rocky Mount City Schools and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. She received her B.S. Degree from Shaw University and the Master of Arts Degree from Penn State.
Her teaching career began at the high school in Kannapolis, NC. She
taught Home Economics there for three years before coming to G.W. Carver High School in Pinetops in 1941, along with her late husband, Mr. Samuel Alexander Gilliam who established G. W. Carver High School and was the first principal. Mrs. Gilliam was the first and only Home Economics teacher at Carver. She taught there for thirty-three years. During integration she was transferred to South Edgecombe High School for three years, from which she retired for a total of thirty-nine years of teaching Home Economics. She was a gift of peace and tranquility to every life she touched.
Mrs. Gilliam is a charter member of Metropolitan Baptist Church where she served as Sunday school teacher, volunteer for Vacation Bible School, Hospitality Committee and the Members of the Missionary Department.
She always strived to follow the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Her often used expression: "Fault is easily found in others, but seldom found in ourselves." Mrs. Gilliam had no children of her own, yet she owned thousands who were under her tutelage. Every student who entered the doors of Carver High school was her children. She taught homemaking with a passion. She always challenged every student to be the very best that you could be.
Funeral service will be held at noon Saturday at Metropolitan Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. Frank B. Weaver officiating. Burial will be at Rocky Mount Memorial Park. A viewing and wake will be held from 6 to 8pm at Hunter Odom Funeral Services on Friday evening.
This tribute was provided by all her children, The G.W. Carver Alumni Association.
Published in Rocky Mount Telegram on Nov. 2, 2012