Welcome to the
memorial page for
November 5, 1922
~ December 27, 2016
Susie Gilliam was born November 5, 1922 in Miccosukee, Florida, a rural area near Tallahassee, to Dora Hall and Oscar Simmons. She was the oldest of thirteen children, eight girls and five boys. Susie was married to Olson Gardner "O.G." Gilliam for more than 60 years until he passed in August 2003. Susie and O.G. raised four (4) children: Barbara J. Richardson, Olson G. Gilliam Jr., Beverly D. Rivers and Lester D. Gilliam.
While O.G. was oversees in the Army, Susie worked for the federal government in Washington, DC maintaining files on the soldiers. She then moved to New York and took a job with the Treasury Department before going to school to obtain training and certification as a Lab Technician. Susie retired in 1988 from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City where she worked as a Lab Technician in the Hematology/Urinalysis Labs for over 32 years. While at Sloan Kettering she became an expert at her craft. She was indispensable to the hospital and was valuable in teaching other technicians how to do the job. After living many years in New York, Susie and O.G. relocated to Long Branch, NJ in December of 1970 where they could be close to her dear sister-in-law Erma Crump's family.
Susie's hobbies included knitting, crochet, needlepoint, reading, shopping and gardening. She was an active member of Trinity AME Church in Long Branch, NJ for 20 years where she served as a Steward, Stewardess, a Missionary and a member of the Lay organization. She quietly supported Trinity's many projects and organizations in numerous ways including teaching Sunday school. Her community activities included preparing and distributing food to needy families. In 2010 at Trinity's 130th Anniversary Celebration, Susie was recognized for her important contribution to the growth of the church. She has also been honored by the church as an "Unsung Hero" and as "Mother Emeritus."
Her favorite flowers were roses and gardenias. One of her favorite songs was "He Touched Me" and her favorite scripture was the 23rd Psalm. She is remembered for having instilled the value of hard work and the importance of family to her grandchildren.
Susie departed this life on December 27, 2016. Preceding her in death were her four sisters Sallie, Lillie, Minnie and Carrie and three brothers Oscar, Willie and Earnest.
Remaining to cherish her memory are Susie's brothers Robert (Arlene) Simmons of West Orange, NJ, Freddy of Florida; sisters Rosa Lee (Jimmy Lee) Porter, Ollie Mae and Lula Mae all of Florida; daughter Barbara J. Richardson of Teaneck, NJ; seven grandchildren Olson (Rosa) G. Gilliam III, Seth (Leah) K. Gilliam, Sharina Gilliam, Sabrina (Scot "Kwa") Gilliam Formey, David Smith, Cherise S. Richardson and Robert (Kerry) S. Richardson; 15 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great granddaughter and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and a lifetime of friends.