Robert Lyman Gilliland died Sunday, March 22, 2020, Springfield MO. He was born on February 8, 1936, Walker, MN. He was the 3rd child and only son of Harold Henry and Ruby Starkweather Gilliland. He was preceded in death by both parents, 2 sisters, Elsie Marilyn Gartin and Lillian Jean Orton and daughter-in-law Kathy Gilliland.
He is survived by his wife Donna Lee Lambeth Gilliland of the home, two sons, Jeffery Scott of Aurora, CO, and Curtis Allen and his daughter Jenell of Littleton, CO, 2 stepdaughters that he loved as his own, Susan Lee Anderson of East Sound, WA and Diana Raye LaBarge (Michael) of Punta Gorda, Fl, one stepson, David Kloster of Llano, TX and one sister Bonnie Rae Macdissi of Omaha, NE and one brother in law, Knute Orton of Gig Harbor, WA, plus 9 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. Bob and Donna considered all the children as “ours”.
The family moved to Omaha, NE when he was around 5 years old. Bob grew up in a Christian home and accepted Christ as his personal Savior at a city wide revival meeting in Omaha as a teenager.
Bob enlisted in the navy at the age of 17 in 1953 serving as a machinist mate aboard the USS St. Paul, Toledo, and the Maddox until 1957. At the age of 21 he could re-up another 4 years and had a 60 day period to do so. He loved navy life and intended to continue but during that period he was involved in a motorcycle accident and the navy was no longer an option. He returned to Omaha, NE where he worked for MUD, Robert’s Dairy and part-time for a cement contractor. He finally worked for Roadway Express and later retired from Yellow Freight.
He was not faithful to his Lord for many years taking his family to church now and then. One of his nieces asked him to go to church with her so she could win a family Bible. He attended Midwestern Baptist Church with her and she won the Bible! It was there that he took the first step of obedience to his Lord after getting saved as a teenager and was baptized at the age of 40. He joined the church, became a Sunday School bus driver for Don Gould who was pastor to the large deaf ministry the church had at that time. They became good, long time friends with a common goal of leading others to Christ.
In 1981 he and Donna moved to the beautiful Missouri Ozarks. After joining Tabernacle Baptist Church, Lebanon, MO, they taught Junior Church for many years and he also drove a bus each Sunday to Ft. Leonard Wood bringing soldiers to church services under the Free Day Away Program. He was a faithful soul winner and altar worker. Seeing young military men accept Christ was the joy of his life. Bob and Donna joined the Berean Baptist Church, Springfield, MO, in 2015. Bob was blessed by working in the ministry of Bearing Precious Seed at Maranatha Baptist Church, St. Roberts, MO.
After retirement Bob found he had a talent and love for woodworking, especially turning bowls on his lathe. He and Donna loved traveling and had many wonderful adventures with their travel trailer. He was very much loved and will be greatly missed but for only a short absence to those born again believers who will follow him to his Savior. In lieu of flowers please make contributions to Berean Baptist Church or Integrity Home Care, Springfield, MO.