Thomas Hutton Gilliam, 101, Oak Ridge

Thomas Hutton Gilliam, age 101, of Oak Ridge, TN, passed away on May 13, 2024.

He was a member of New York Avenue Church of Christ where on Sunday mornings he was fondly known as the Candy Man as he always passed out Werther’s Originals to the ladies of the congregation. He read his Bible daily and spent his life trying to implement what he read. He was the first in line to help a neighbor and the last in line to seek recognition. He was a man that could be counted on. He will be missed. 

He retired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory after 24 years of service. Thomas served in the U.S. Army during World War II earning 3 bronze stars and obtained the of corporal.

Thomas is preceded in death by the love of his, Opal Lee Gilliam. They were married for 68 years until her death. Daughter, Gail Ann, passed away in 1995. Thomas was the son of the late Thomas and Clara Gilliam; sister, Kathleen; brothers, Marion, John, Billy, and Jimmy of Lake City, TN.

Thomas is survived by son, Thomas Michael (Wanda) Gilliam; Shaun Thomas Gilliam, Seattle, WA., Shane Michael (Beathany) Gilliam, Statesboro, GA., Kent Russell, Oak Ridge, TN., Cody Russell, Washington, DC.; great-grandchildren, Lottie and Hutton Gilliam, Statesboro, GA., Kashawn Russell, Aowyn Russell, Conner and Doria Griggs, Oak Ridge, TN.

Special thanks to Kent Russell for the loving care he bestowed on his grandfather in his last years. Special friends include Midge Brown and Harold Scott.

A graveside service with military honors will be conducted by Tim Harty at Oak Ridge Memorial Park, on Saturday, May 25, 2024, at 2:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, it is requested that memorials be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Condolences can be left at

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