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Earl David Gillam


1933 - 2019
Earl David Gillam Obituary
Earl David Gillam, Jr, age 85, passed on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 peacefully at the Hospice House in Durango, CO. He was born on October 29th,1933 to the late Earl David Gillam, SR and the late Patria Gillam (Gladney) of Atlanta, GA.

Earl was a graduate of Russel High School in East Point Georgia, where he was an all-star athlete excelling in both baseball and football. Upon graduation, he served his country in the U.S. Army and spent two years in South Korea. He played baseball for the U.S. Army during this time. He sent every penny of his salary from the military home to his parents so they could have enough money to buy their first home. The depression years and those following had been challenging for his family. When discharged from the Army, Earl was signed by a professional baseball club in Kentucky and played one year for that team before moving on to the Georgia-Florida professional League for two additional seasons. He then resigned to enter college as a Math major at the Georgia Institute of Technology as well as Georgia State College. He graduated from Georgia State with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. He learned how to be a computer programmer when he was hired for his first professional job as this was before they taught computer programming in college. He was one of the original founders of what grew into one of the biggest computer programming firms in the south. He knew all of the original computer programming languages developed.

Earl married Shirley Yvonne Pinder, of Nassau, Bahamas on September 7th in 1963 at All Saints Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Earl continued to play amateur baseball until he was 40 years old at which time he took up Tennis. He had previously broken his right finger playing baseball and taught himself to use his left hand and arm as well as his right. He often dismayed his tennis opponents with his ambidextrous forehand abilities which he always seemed to find humor in. Earl continued to be an avid runner through most of his life often bragging that he could still run a 5-minute mile into his 50s. He was known for being able to walk around on his hands which he often showed off in parking lots for those willing to witness. He continued playing tennis through his 50s until he began to have joint problems, but his love of fitness did not fade and he continued to go on walks, do push-ups or whatever he could do for as long as it was possible.

Earl was an avid historian and could rattle off the birth dates, death dates, serving dates as well as random interesting facts about all of our presidents. He memorized things like capitals, populations and land areas of states for fun. He enjoyed reading almanacs and encyclopedias and loved music, math, philosophy, and reciting poems.

Earl is survived by his wife of 55 years, Shirley, his daughter, Etoile, his son, Richard, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

A private memorial service is being held at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.
Published in The Durango Herald on Apr. 2, 2019
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