Cover photo for Barbara D. Gilliam's Obituary
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1941 Barbara 2021

Barbara D. Gilliam

September 6, 1941 — February 7, 2021

Barbara D. Gilliam, 79, of Eau Claire went home to be with her Lord on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. She passed away peacefully at home.

Barbara was born and raised in Arkansas on Sept. 6, 1941 to Raymond and Irene (Vittito) Hicks. One of 11 siblings, Barbara was never at a loss for company growing up and always had a story or two to tell. Barbara married Walter Gilliam on Oct. 9, 1958 and they raised two daughters, Debby and Karen.

Barbara was a faithful member of Lifegate Baptist Church for over 40 years. During that time, she taught Sunday School and hosted Bible studies for teenagers for many years. Barbara had a passion for the Word of God and would tell people about the Gospel any chance that she could.

Barbara had many interests. She enjoyed gardening, puzzles, and cooking. She also enjoyed being “Grandma” to her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Barbara had a gift for hospitality. She loved people and was always willing to open her home and her table to whomever needed a place to stay or a warm cup of coffee and an ear to listen.

Barbara is survived by her husband of 62 years, Walter Gilliam; her two daughters, Debra (Barry) Oliver and Karen (Allen) Metz; grandchildren, Sheena (Nick) Bailey, Barry “Bug” Oliver, Jr., Michelle (Daniel) Sonnenberg, Sarah (Richard) Cronk, Hannah Metz, Elijah Metz, Micah Metz, Keziah Metz, Noah Metz, and Isaiah Metz; great-grandchildren, Ella, Chase, Parker, Spencer, Aubrey, Hunter, and Ava; sisters, Donna (Dennis) Butler and Vada (Dale) Sherburn; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Barbara is preceded in death by her parents; granddaughter, Emilly Metz; and her siblings, Leroy Hicks, Ruby Hartsfield, Sue Vaughn, Nettie Hale, Shirley Hutcherson, Raymond “Buddy” Hicks, Phyllis Moody, and Judy Chancellor.

Friends may visit 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, at Bowerman Funeral Home, Eau Claire. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, at Lifegate Baptist Church, Eau Claire. Memorials may be made to the family or to the church. Share messages online at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara D. Gilliam, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Bowerman Funeral Home

, Eau Claire, MI 49111

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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