OBITUARY: Richard Gordon Gillingham Sr.


Richard Gordon Gillingham, Sr., age 71, of Chapmansboro, Tennessee, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, March 19, 2023, at his home.

Mr. Gillingham was born on June 22, 1951, in Nashville, Tennessee, to the late Gordon Dow & Jeanne Marie Gillingham.

Richard grew up in the Neely’s Bend area of Madison and was a graduate of Madison High School. Soon after graduation, he married his junior high school sweetheart. In 1974, he gave his life to Christ and began an adventure of following the Lord.

He attended Volunteer State Community College and Austin Peay State University. He was a journeyman ironworker (Local 492) and was certified as an expert nuclear welder.

Later, he attended Somerset Community College and held an Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic license. He was employed at Branam Aviation and John Tune Airport where he worked on fixed wing and rotorcraft. He accepted a position at Tennessee Valley Authority Helicopter Services where he gained the rank of expert in the repair of Huey, Euro-copter, A Star, and Bell Helicopters. During that time, he was instrumental in the expansion of electric services around Gatlinburg and the Smokey Mountain area. After 16 years with TVA, he retired as Director of Maintenance at TVA.

From his childhood, he was an avid sailor in a boat as a solo skipper. In his teenage years, he crewed on many boats during regattas. He and his wife raced Hobbie Catamarans around the southeast circuit. In the late 90s, he purchased his 27-foot S2 sailboat, “Unmerited Favor”. He and his wife sailed from Lake Wheeler on the Tennessee River to Kentucky Dam and all the way to Hendersonville on the Cumberland River. They were caretakers and members of the Muscle Shoals Sailing Club in Killen, Alabama.

He saved the world by being a beekeeper and was a member of the Cheatham County Beekeepers Association. He was active with No Greater Love Ministries where he participated in sharing the gospel at Mardi Gras, the Indy 500, and many other places. He believed strongly in the vision of No Greater Love Ministries which is: “Putting the gospel into the hands of faithful men” 2 Timothy 2:2

His greatest accomplishment is the success of raising one son and three daughters who followed in his footsteps by loving the Lord and serving Him. He was a fun grandfather and enjoyed playing games with his grandchildren.

He fought a valiant battle against Lewy Body Dementia and will be greatly missed.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his son, Samuel Gillingham; and brother-in-law, Ivey Ward Oliphant.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Sharman Nash Gillingham; son, Richard G. (Tracy)Gillingham, Jr.; daughters, Wendi E. (Kenzi) Butler, Tiffany M. (James) Tabor, and Chrisy D. (Philip) Gambrell; brothers, Thomas (Mary Lynn) Gillingham and Kevin(Theresa) Gillingham; sister, Barbara Oliphant; grandchildren, Richard G. Gillingham, III, Joy Gillingham, Caleb Gillingham, Zoe Gillingham, Kendra Butler, Eric Tabor, Jet Tabor, Philip Gambrell, Jr., Sjaan Gambrell, and Avy Gambrell; and great-grandchild, Stephen Gambrell.

Funeral services will be conducted at Austin & Bell Funeral Home in Pleasant View at 11:00 AM on Thursday, March 23rd, with his son, Richard Gillingham, Jr. and family officiating, and ministering in music will be pianist Ann Marie Williams. Burial will follow in Mallory’s Cemetery at 4965 Thomasville Rd in Chapmansboro with Kenzi Butler, James Tabor, Jr., Philip Gambrell, Sr., Richard Gillingham, III, Philip Gambrell Jr., Caleb Gillingham, Erik Tabor, and Jet Tabor serving as pallbearers.

The family will receive friends at Austin & Bell Funeral Home in Pleasant View on Wednesday, March 22nd from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM and again on Thursday from 10:00 AM until the hour of service at 11:00 AM.

If so desired, memorial contributions may be made to No Greater Love Ministries, PO Box 263 Du Quoin, IL 62832, 618-542-4503.

AUSTIN & BELL FUNERAL HOME in Pleasant View is in charge of these arrangements. 6316 Highway 41A, Pleasant View, Tennessee 37146 (615) 746-4433


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