Mary Ruth Widener Gilliam, age 92, passed away early Monday morning, November 12, 2018, at Memorial Manor, Bainbridge, Georgia. Services for Mrs. Gilliam will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, at the First United Methodist Church of Bainbridge. The Rev. Stephen Webb will officiate. Lenny Widener, Larry Elkins, Forrest Elkins, George Grimsley, Jimmy Pitisci, and Joe Widener will serve as pallbearers. Interment will follow in Oak City Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour before the service, beginning at 10:00.
Mary Ruth Widener was born April 26, 1926 in Bainbridge. Her parents, Lee Vesta Widener and Mae Dee Harrell Widener have preceded her in death. After graduating from Bainbridge High School, Mary Ruth traveled to Atlanta and began a career in banking. There, she met the love of her life, Peter Turney Gilliam. In 1949, she and Pete married. They lived many years in Thomson, Georgia. Mary Ruth was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Thomson. She was a dedicated, active member of the Thomson church. In Thomson, she owned and managed the Village Outlet Store. She and her husband moved to Bainbridge and Mary Ruth continued to actively serve at First Methodist Church of Bainbridge. For many, many years she journaled her daily life. She recorded her thoughts, interactions with family and friends, celebrations, prayer needs, and answered prayers each and every day. Gran Mary, as most people knew her, was kind and loving.
Gran Mary loved Georgia Bulldog Football.
Mary Ruth Gilliam is survived by her son, Russell Gilliam and wife, Donna of Thomson, Georgia; sister, Betty Widener Elkins of Bainbridge; brother, William Widener and wife, Beverly of Bainbridge; grandchildren, John Poitevint (Cis), Paige Jones (Adam), Kelly Poitevint, Turner Gilliam, and Alex Gilliam; great-grandchildren, Callie Jones and Hunter Jones; sisters-in-law, Liz Widener and Nita Widener; sons-in-law, Bo Poitevint and Joe LeRoy. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, daughters, Gail Gilliam Poitevint and Diane Gilliam LeRoy, and brothers, Bubba Widener and Harrell Widener.
The family wants to thank the staff of Memorial Manor, Kindred Hospice and Dr. Sydney Cochran for the care and love they have shown Gran Mary.
Memorial donations may be made in her honor to the First United Methodist Church Roof Fund, P. O. Box 541, Bainbridge, Georgia 39818.
On-line condolences may be sent at www.Coxfuneral.net. Cox Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.