BRADENTON FL — James (Sonny) Oliver Gilliam 89 passed away in Bradenton FL on November 27, 2016 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease and complications.

Born in Yonkers, NY February 10, 1927 the son of Oliver P and Mary Lyons Gilliam.

Sonny lived in Yonkers until 16 years old attending the Saunders Trade School taking courses in pipe fitting, welding, electrical and boatbuilding. His family then moved to Maine where he became a fisherman and did boat building with his father.

Sonny served proudly in the Army during WW2 and was stationed in France, Austria, Germany, and Gorizia, Italy.

He also worked as a Leadman at Bath Iron Works Pipe Shop for many years. Eventually he returned to the sea, fishing on his pride and joy the “Molly and Jane”.

In 1977 Sonny and Margaret started wintering in Palmetto, FL. He worked at Snead Island Boat Works and returned to Phippsburg, Maine for the summer months.

He enjoyed playing his guitar and singing with friends. Sonny was a storyteller of the “good old days” keeping everyone in stitches. He was always trying to help somebody figure something out. He was an adventurous soul, taking up flying and then scuba diving.

He is predeceased by his parents, Oliver

P and Mary Lyons Gilliam, 3 brothers Philmore, Robert and Norman plus one sister Maureen Murphy, 2 sons James Jr and Anthony Gilliam.

Sonny is survived by his wife, Margaret of 69 years, one son Dana and his wife Lynne, one daughter Elaine and her husband Skip Cahill. He is also survived by 5 granddaughters and one grandson, 5 great granddaughters and 5 great grandsons who loved him dearly.

There will be a graveside service in the spring, in Phippsburg Maine.