Arthur "Art " Gilliland, 81, of Sugar Grove, left this world on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at his home.
He was born November 18, 1939 in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, a son of the late Cora Gertrude (Slider) and Arthur Sherman Gilliland. As part of a very loving family, Art always said he had an ideal childhood and had nothing but good memories. Following graduation from High school, Art joined the United States Navy and served honorably throughout his enlistment.
In 1964 he met and married the love of his life, Delia Miller. Art initially worked for the East Stroudsburg Police department as a patrol man, but in 1970 he and Delia relocated their family to Florida where he began work with the Miami-Dade Public Safety department as a police officer.
Fondly known as “Pop-pop” to his family, Art enjoyed spending time with his family-which he held above all things. Often the family would spend their weekends in the Everglades, at the beach, and being an avid hunter, Art would take the family on several hunting trips a year.
He enjoyed time spent wood working, tinkering, and building things, a trait he picked up from his father and a skill he often used to supplement the family’s income.
After several years in Miami, Art and Delia moved their family to Iva, South Carolina, where he became the chief of police of that little town and would remain until his retirement. Upon retirement from his career in police work, he moved to Pennsylvania for a few years and then west to Colorado. In Colorado Art began another career as a entrepreneur and would go onto establish several companies including propane companies, plumbing companies, contract mail companies, as well as a vending machine company.
Art and Delia truly loved their home in Colorado and made several close friends. While there they had two beloved bird hunting dogs, Mindy and Sassy who Art loved to go bird hunting with. The couple also enjoyed time spent fishing, panning gold together, and seeking out pet projects, such as the old 1830's mercantile they operated in Como, CO. It was early in the 2000's that his sister-in-law, “Aunt Serena” came to live full-time with Art and Delia and quickly became Art's buddy following him everywhere and helping him while Delia worked the post office and other things. Following Delia passing in 2010, Art moved to Pueblo, CO with his daughter, Shirley, then to Texas to be with his daughter, Julie as well as Kansas for some time with his son, Art.
Ultimately, Art made his home in West Virginia to live near Shirley and her family. Here he found enjoyment spending time with his ever growing family, especially his 7 great-grandchildren who would come to visit and spend hours asking him thousands of questions. He spent his last years living in a small forest cabin where he enjoyed raising a garden, watching birds, deer and turkey feed and overall, simply being close to God and nature. Watching the wildlife around his cabin was one of the pleasant ways he spent his final days. He also became close with his friends from the McDowell Mennonite Church and was always happy to have visits with them, as well as with friends and neighbors. Additionally, it should be mentioned how excited he had been recently to have begun development of his last “big idea”, which was to repair and sell vehicles with his grandson-in-law. Without a doubt the business would have flourished and prospect alone brought him great joy in his final days.
In addition to his parents and beloved wife, predeceased family members include his, sister-in-law Serena Miller, who he diligently cared for until her passing in 2019; a grandson, Michael McGuire; brothers, George, Richard and Walter Gilliland; and sister, Dorothea Gilliland.
He is survived by his daughters, Shirley Gilliland McGuire and Husband, Edwin of Sugar Grove, WV, Juliet Gilliland Hammond and husband, Brandon Hunter of Dennison, TX; son, Arthur Gilliland and wife, Lisa of Olsburg, KS; brother, David Gilliland of Clearwater, FL; sisters, Carolyn (Gilliland) Imbt and husband, Jack of Troy, PA and Eleanor (Gilliland) Werkheiser of Gillette, PA; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Eddie McGuire of West Virginia, Rachel (McGuire) Fischer and husband, Will and their children, William, Cora, Delia, Cale, Floyd, Serena and Margaret Fischer all of North Carolina, John Gilliland of California, Megan McGuire of West Virginia, Niki (Gilliland) Rogers with great grandchildren Harley and Laney all of Kansas, Padrick McGuire of West Virginia, Juliet Gilliland of Kansas, Ian McGuire of West Virginia, Holly Hammond of Texas and Bradlee Hammond also of Texas .
A graveside service will be held 10 a.m., Saturday, October 2, 2021 in Totten Cemetery with pastors Clair and David Heatwole officiating. A continuance of the funeral service will follow in McDowell Mennonite Church, McDowell, VA.
Memorial contributions may be made Art’s memory to the McDowell Mennonite Church, c/o Bradley Heatwole, treasurer, 2230 Hiner Mill Road, Sugar Grove, WV 26815.
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McDowell Mennonite Church, c/o Bradley Heatwole (treasurer)
2230 Hiner Mill Road, Sugar Grove WV 26815