Joseph "Joe" Marlo Gilliam, Jr. passed away on September 11, 2018 in Indianapolis, IN at the age of 26. He took his last breath at 1:53pm, and was welcomed in to heaven with fully restored lungs and a body that was made new.
Joe is survived by his beloved wife, Rachel; his grandparents, Rev. Donnell and Beverly Liddell; his mother, Yvette Hawkins; his sisters, Chelsey Henry and Khlyra "KK" Winters; his father, Joseph Gilliam, Sr. (Vickie); and his uncle, Darius Barker. He was preceded in death by his Great-grandmother, Magnolia White and Grandmother, Virginia Gilliam.
Joe was born on March 18, 1992 in Indianapolis, IN to Joseph Gilliam Sr. and Yvette Hawkins. He attended Mary Bryan Elementary School, Southport Middle School, and Southport High School where he excelled academically as well as in track, basketball, and football. He was recently inducted in to the SHS Wall of Fame. After high school, he attended Purdue University where he played football at the linebacker position. Many of his teammates recall him as a "team-first" guy with a smile that could light up the room.
He graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Selling/Sales Management. After graduating, he began his career at Enterprise Rent-A-Car in a sales role. He married Rachel in 2016 and they began to build a life that they were proud of and grateful for. His wife will always remember him as a strong, devoted, and even-keeled husband. He was her calm in many of life's storms.
Joe was diagnosed with a Grade 4 Spinal Glioblastoma in March of 2017. Even though the odds, survival rate and lack of medical research were stacked against him, he never once doubted that he would be healed from this awful disease. His faith in our Ultimate Healer was concrete and he often encouraged others to keep their faith during his season of illness as well. Joe spent nearly a third of the past year and a half of his diagnosis in hospitals as the tumor began to spread throughout his spine and brain. Many will never know how relentlessly he fought his fight against cancer with several rounds of radiation, chemotherapy, experimental/trial drugs, rehabilitation and countless procedures.
Joe came to know the Lord at the young age of 7 and served on the Usher Board at Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church as a teenager. He attended Calvary Baptist Church in West Lafayette and Lakeview Church in Indianapolis. He allowed the Lord to guide every day of his life and is now worshipping at the feet of our Heavenly Father.
19 people have supported the family by purchasing them flowers or gifts from the Healing Registry.
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I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M EVEN WRITING THIS FOR YOU JOE, HE WAS A GREAT YOUNG MAN GREW UP TO BE A WONDERFUL MAN. I HAVE ALOT OF MEMORIES OF JOE WE WENT TO MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL TOGETHER WE ALSO BELONGED TO THE SAME CHURCH. HE ALWAYS KEPT EVERYBODY LAUGHING RATHER IT WAS FROM HIM TELLING HIS JOKE'S OR HIM WITH THAT BEAUTIFUL SMILE HE ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE. HE WAS ALWAYS IN GOOD SPIRITS HE WOULD ALWAYS SAY SOMETHING TO ME TO CHEER ME UP. I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU GAINED YOUR WINGS BUT I KNOW YOUR UP IN HEAVEN MAKING EVERYBODY LAUGH, YOU WILL BE GREATLY MISSED REST EASY JOE I LOVE YOU. MY CONDOLENCES TO MRS & MR LIDDELL I'M PRAYING MUCH FOR YOU BOTH AND ALSO HIS WIFE, MOTHER, SISTER'S, AND UNCLE'S GOD BLESS YOU ALL
My Prayers are with the family I loved this young man with all my heart and this is so hard to believe God bless you all and strength to endure this hard time God is able
Joe I'm really going to miss you alot you will forever be missed watch over us Gone too soon but you will never be forgotten and you will always be in our hearts Rest in Heaven fly high with your 👼👼 Angels and I hope that I'll see you again someday love you cuz ❤❤😘😘😍😍🤗😔😥😇😇😇
We are so very sorry, may he rest with the Angels. Thoughts and prayers for you all. We will remember Joe as a great young man with a beautiful smile. The Blackwell family.
My heart goes out to Joe’s wife and family. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers
My first memory of Joe was the summer leading into his senior year at Southport. We had a team building/ conditioning thing going on. We were divided up into small groups to try and work together through various physical activities. I was blessed enough to have Joe in my small group. The activity that sticks out the most to me was the fireman carry up the steps in the gymnasium. From floor to the top we had to go. So we devised a plan on who was carrying who. It was decided Joe would carry me first. When the whistle blew Joe picked me up and went up the stairs two at a time with me draped over his shoulders the whole way. I have many other memories of our small interactions over the course of that season. All of those Joe was in good spirits. He always seemed to have the big smile on his face and most of the time cracking a joke with some of the guys. My family will be praying for Rachel and all of Joe's loved ones that are grieving. Psalm 147:3
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