• By John Bullard

Obituary: Clara Virginia Bennett Gilliam

Clara Virginia Bennett Gilliam passed away at Madison Rehabilitation Center in Madison, Florida on August 3, 2015. She was 95 years old.

Clara was born on June 27, 1920 in West Virginia to Claude and Della Bennett. She married George Franklin Sites in1936 and had six children. The family moved to Arizona where they worked together to build two houses. George worked for Shell Oil Company in the daytime while Clara made the blocks to build the house. In 1955 the family moved to Florida where Clara started a drapery business. Shelfer Blitch of Quincy recommended her to all their customers. Clara and George divorced in 1962.

In 1969 Clara married William Clyde Gilliam Jr. William had three children from a prior marriage, Tony, Evelyn and Barbara. The family moved to Alaska where they homesteaded and lived off the land before buying property in Glennallen. While living in Alaska, at the age of 65 Clara shot and dressed a moose while William attended a family member’s funeral. They became active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Glennallen.

They retired and moved to Greenville, Florida in 1998.

Viewing on August 7, 2015, 9:45 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1374 W. Base St. Madison, Florida and funeral service following at 10:00 AM.

Interment will follow in Evergreen Cemetery in Greenville, Florida.

Clara was preceded in death by her husband William Clyde Gillian, two sons, William George Sites and Thaymer C. Sites, granddaughter Rockcenna Lynn, and 2 great grandchildren Charles Durbin and Justine Sites. She is survived by 4 children Ira John (Eloise) Sites, Sr., Lowell Zane (Lucretia) Sites, Fannie Hope (Wilmer) Smith, and Swinton James Sites, 3-step-children , Anthony Gilliam, Barbara Gilliam, Evelyn Gilliam, 15 grandchildren, Dinah (Mark) Foster, Clara (Tom) Becker, Gina Murphy and William "Billy" (Joanne) Sites, Wilmer Chason Smith (Sue Cole), Deborah Hope Smith Frederick, Ira John (Tonya) Sites, Jr. Edward A. Sites, Sherry R. Massey, Rhonda Lynn Sites, Dena Nicole Sites, Dawn Michelle Hoem, Eric Wayne Sites, Paul Sites, 7 step grandchildren, 24-great grandchildren, 11 step great grandchildren and 22 great, great grandchildren.

Beggs Funeral Home in Madison, Florida is assisting the family with arrangements.


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