Gilliam Mays Lewis

June 16, 1935 - April 30, 2019

Gilliam Mays Lewis, 83, passed away on Tuesday, April 30, 2019.  At his time of death, he and his wife Doris were residents of Brandon Oaks Retirement Community in Roanoke.
A native of Dinwiddie County, VA, Gilliam was born June 16, 1935.  He was the ninth child of a family of ten children.   He is survived by his special wife, Doris Payne Lewis, “Gawjis” for 57 years.  He is survived by their son, Gilliam Hammack Lewis of North Fort Myers, Florida; their daughter, Marguerite Lewis DeRosa and her husband Ronald DeRosa of Tega Cay, South Carolina.  He is also survived by their grandsons, Ryan DeRosa of Rock Hill SC, and Tyler DeRosa and fiancé Brittney Szalay of Colombia, SC.; sisters Rayzelle Meredith and Carolyn Copland.
Gilliam graduated from Lynchburg College in 1957, University of Virginia School of Education in 1966, and Virginia Commonwealth University School of Rehabilitation Counseling in 1975.
Gilliam’s last employment was with the City of Roanoke as a Benefits Specialist in Social Services.  Prior to that, Gilliam and Doris lived and worked in Anchorage, Alaska for one school year.  Gilliam worked as a substitute teacher and Doris taught public school.  They loved being in Alaska, but could not make it home, so they returned to their home in Roanoke. 
Prior to going to Alaska, Gilliam was employed by the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services as a vocational rehabilitation counselor.  He loved assisting his disabled clients in preparing for and obtaining employment.  Prior to working for the Commonwealth of Virginia, Gilliam taught public school for 12 years in Dinwiddie, Rockbridge, and Augusta Counties; and the city of Waynesboro.  After he retired and moved to Brandon Oaks, he volunteered assisting a second grade teacher and students at Highland Park Elementary School.  He loved working with the students and assisting Mrs. Garst, their teacher.
Gilliam and Doris are members for Greene Memorial United Methodist Church in Roanoke, where he and Doris sang in the Chancel Choir.
Gilliam was a veteran, serving in the US Army.  He also served and retired from the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. A memorial service will be planned for a later date. Arrangements by Simpson Funeral Home. (540)366-0707.
Print Add Condolence