Linda Harris Gilliam MD, M.Div., 53, died Friday January 30, 2015. Daughter of Col Richard and Mrs. Effie Harris, Linda was born in Tucson, AZ which she considered home throughout her life. She and brother, David were raised in a Military family ultimately settling in Northern Virginia where she graduated high school and later graduated the University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA.
Linda attended Duke University School of Medicine where she met and married Roosevelt (Rosey) Gilliam. She graduated Duke University School of Medicine and was commissioned in the US Army. She interned as a general surgeon at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC before serving as a General Medical Officer at Fort Lee Virginia. While at Fort Lee, Linda was assigned to the 95th EVAC Hospital and served during the first Gulf War in Kuwait. Her service in theater earned her the Bronze Star and on arrival back to her duty station at Fort Lee, was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.
After a distinguished time in uniform, Linda completed training as a Family Medicine Physician in Richmond VA at Chippenham Medical Center. She and Rosey became proud parents of Rachel Elizabeth Gilliam October 16, 1996. Rachel was the love of Linda’s life.
Linda earned a Master’s degree in Divinity while in Richmond where she established a charity organization to serve the East End of Richmond VA. After setting this organization in motion, she returned to Durham and became a member of Watts Street Baptist Church. Wherever Linda lived she was not far from music. An accomplished flutist, she was self-taught in piano, saxophone as well as cello. Her passion was rooted in vocal works and she was an active choir member at Watts Street Baptist Church.
Health issues prevented Linda from pursuing many of her wishes but she loved equestrian sports, volleyball, basketball, snow skiing, and was an avid fan of football. She mastered multiple languages becoming fluent in Spanish adding to the French she learned as a student in grade school in Belgium.
Linda is survived by her daughter Rachel Elizabeth Gilliam and brother David Harris, her Aunt Othella Daniels of Tucson AZ, several cousins and former husband Roosevelt Gilliam.
Memorial Services will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday at Watts Street Baptist Church, 800 Watts St., Durham. Military Honors will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Linda’s name may be made to The American Red Cross or The United Way. Arrangements are entrusted to Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Durham, NC. Online condolences at www.hallwynne.com