Wade Clifton Gilley Sr
Wade Clifton Gilley, Sr., age 92, of Pilot Mountain, NC gained his angel wings and went to be with his Heavenly Father on the morning of September 7, 2023 surrounded by his loving family. Predeceased by five brothers, he was the last of the Gilley boys who were all mechanics by nature but what a glorious reunion there was in Heaven as he was welcomed by his wife “Millie” along with his brothers, sisters, and his parents whom he all loved greatly. An angel in Heaven and a jewel on earth, many lives were touched by this humility, kindness, and love. He was a true “Southern Gentleman” with his manners and sweet and kind presence. He leaves behind a legacy of love for family, faith in God, and devotion to others.
He was born on November 17, 1930 in South Westfield to John William Gilley and Ida Rosella Brinkley. He graduated from Westfield High School following the completion of several grades in one year while at Cook School. He was a U.S. Army veteran having served as a corporal in the 6th Armored Division in the Korean Conflict and was stationed in France as a mechanic. Following his discharge, he joined with his brother Earlie to form Gilley’s Automotive & Supply Co. where he served as co-owner and president. He never retired and worked at the “store” up until the end. He was known locally and regionally for his expertise in auto mechanics, parts cataloging, and tractor repair. Customers came from great distances for his mechanical and repair abilities.
On May 10, 1958, he married Annie Mildred “Millie” Tolbert of Mount Airy and they were faithful members of Jessup Grove Baptist Church. He was also a charter member of the South Westfield Ruritan Club and a member of the Rust and Dust Tractor Club. His favorite activities were collecting NASCAR memorabilia, tinkering on his tractors, listening to gospel music sung by his wife, and spending time with his family.
Survivors include two sons; Wade C. Gilley, Jr. and John W. Gilley (Robin) and two grandchildren, Bo and Molly Gilley. Also surviving is a sister, Glenda Gravitte; a sister-in-law, Margaret Marvin; a brother-in-law, Larry Tolbert; and a very special friend and neighbor, Dale Jessup. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; five brothers, Earlie, Cecil, Ray, Rex, and Caleb Reid (C.R.); a sister Melverine Cooke; an infant sister Mozelle; and a host of Gilley and Tolbert nieces and nephews that he loved dearly.
To honor his life, the family will receive friends on Sunday, September 10 from 6-9pm at Jessup Grove Baptist Church in Pilot Mountain, NC. The body will lie in state at Moody Funeral Home in Mount Airy, NC from 9am to 3pm on Sunday, September 10. Funeral services will be held at 11am on Monday, September 11 at Jessup Grove Baptist Church with interment following at Union Hill Friends Church on Red Brush Road in Mount Airy.
The family wishes to express their deepest appreciation to CenterWell Home Health and Mountain Valley Hospice for their loving and compassionate care during his recent illness and also to extend a heartfelt thank you to his best friend, Dale Jessup, for his visits and generosity over the years. The family also wishes to express thanks to the men’s and women’s ministries at Jessup Grove Baptist Church, Cross Training Ministry, Cousin Gary’s Restaurant, South Westfield Ruritan Club, and the South Westfield community for their tremendous support.
Pallbearers include: Clayton Cooke, Earlie Gilley III, James W. Gilley II, Oliver Gilley, Robert Gravitte, and Dale Jessup. Honorary pallbearers include: Cleo Cain, J. W. Gilley Sr., Boyce Jessup, Raymond Jessup, Preston Joyce, and Leroy Johnson. Audio and video services to be provided by his nephew Reid Gilley.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Cross Training Ministry, 285 Taylor Road, Pilot Mountain, NC 27041 or Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care, 401 Technology Lane, Suite 200, Mt. Airy, NC 27030.