On Sunday, October 27, 2019, Earlie Gaston Gilley Jr., 60, of Pilot Mountain, surrounded by his loving family, took Jesus’ hand into eternity after a brave battle with cancer. He was born to the late Earlie Gilley Sr. and Lorraine Gilley on January 19, 1959. He married the love of his life and best friend, Tammy Gilley, on September 13, 1980. They are blessed with two children, a daughter, Elizabeth Gilley Hawks and husband, Andrew, and a son, Earlie Gilley III and wife, Ashley. They have six of the most beautiful and precious grandchildren: Earlie “Gaston” IV, Kalie Ellen, Cole Levi, Tucker Drew, Bodie Lincoln, and Palmer Elizabeth. They were his pride and joy, Pawpaw’s boys and girls! He worked for Piedmont and US Airways while opening and running a very successful jewelry store; Gilley’s Jewelry, which will continue to be open and successful for years to come. Some of you may know him as cousin, nephew, uncle, classmate, coworker, little league coach or best friend; probably half of you reading this are either wearing a piece of jewelry he made or has repaired, but regardless of how you know him, one thing is certain, you will never forget him or his belly laughs or hugs or pats on the backs. He was just an all-around good person with a sweet soul, a lover of Jesus and Reese cups, a hard worker, and at the jewelry store he was the very best secret keeper. He had such a presence about him that made anyone feel loved and welcome. Cancer did not define him; it was just a part of his story. What defined him was his devotion to his family and his faith in God; and this is how he would say it, “The biggest thing about it is, I was taught by the best (his dad), then I wound up and turned around and taught it to y’all and you gotta teach it to these grandbabies.” He is enjoying a wonderful reunion with his parents, Earlie and Lorraine Gilley; his mother-in-law, Ellen Beroth; brother-in-law, Keith Jessup; and two sweet grandbabies he never got to meet this side of heaven, Cooper Hawks and Baby Gilley. Left to cherish his memory and carry on his legacy are his wife, Tammy; sister, Carol Jessup; two children; and six grandchildren. A funeral service will be conducted 2:00 p.m. Thursday, October 31, at First United Methodist Church of Pilot Mountain with the Rev. Randy Pardue, Pastor Matt Lindsay and Pastor Wesley Johnson officiating. Burial will follow at Jessup Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends at First UMC from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 30. In lieu of flowers, please make donations online in his name to GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, in hopes that no family should have to experience it. We would like to thank Dr. Thomas Lycan and Dr. Carl Grey; as well as, all the staff, nurses, CNA’s, respiratory therapist, and any who knew him in the cancer center and Mountain Valley Hospice. God has truly allowed us to have wonderful caretakers. Online condolences may be made at www.hayworth-miller.com
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