McLaurin Funeral Home & Pinecrest Memorial Park

12830 US 70 Business Hwy W, Clayton, NC


Walter Herman Gilliam Jr.

January 4, 1956June 26, 2020
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“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1 Walter Herman Gilliam, Jr. was born on January 4, 1956 in Manhattan, New York. He is the oldest child of the late Herman and Marian Gilliam. Walter attended St. Raymond’s Highschool before serving as an Electronics Technician in the United States Navy. He worked for NYC Transit Authority as a train operator for twenty years before retiring in 2018 and relocating to Clayton, NC. Walter had an enthusiasm for life and enjoyed people. He had a charismatic quality and would strike up a conversation with anyone. Throughout his life, Walter has never met a stranger and was always willing to share his story and life lessons. Walter had a passion for music, food, and traveling. While overseas in the Navy, he developed a love for learning about other cultures, particularly the beauty of the Philippines and throughout his life developed many valued friendships with people there. On Friday, June 26, 2020, the charming and captivating spirit of Walter Herman Gilliam Jr. departed this life and crossed over into a life of peace and eternal rest. Walter is survived by his children, Desirai Heyward and husband, Clarence, Jordan Gilliam and Ziaire Gilliam; mother, Marian Gilliam; sister, Rafleta Gilliam; grandchildren, Gabrielle Heyward and Lauren Heyward; nieces, Keiana White and Chaundra Carter and a host of cousins, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Walter Herman Gilliam Sr. and a sister, Patricia Johnson. Funeral services will be held on Friday, July 3, 2020 at 2:00pm in the chapel of McLaurin Funeral Home with the family receiving friends following the service. If you would like to leave a message of condolence to the family, you may do so below within "add a memory".


  • Desirai Heyward (Clarence), Daughter
  • Jordan Gilliam, Son
  • Ziaire Gilliam, Daughter
  • Marian Gilliam, Mother
  • Rafleta Gilliam, Sister
  • Gabrielle Heyward, Grandchild
  • Lauren Heyward, Grandchild
  • Keiana White, Niece
  • Chaundra Carter, Niece
  • Walter Herman Gilliam Sr., Father (deceased)
  • Patricia Johnson, Sister (deceased)
  • Mr. Gilliam leaves behind a host of cousins, other relatives and friends to cherish his memory.


  • Funeral Service

    Friday, July 3, 2020

  • Visitation

    Friday, July 3, 2020


Walter Herman Gilliam Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Janice Goodwyn Alridge

July 5, 2020

To Walter Jr's family, we are saddened to hear of his passing. Our prayers and love to the family. So close and yet so far, we didnt know he resided in NC right next to VA. It has been a while since seeing him and meeting a lot of you. We'll be thinking of you.

Pat Allen

July 3, 2020

Desirai, Clarence, Gabby, and Lauren, so sorry to hear of the loss of your dad, grandfather. He was such a gentleman. We met in October and had long conversations on the telephone, almost about any and everything. It was nice to know him, and I will cherish all the memories. May GOD wrap his arms around you and your family at this precious time, and know that he will always be with you. Desirai, you were the apple of your dad's eye, and he treasured his granddaughters dearly. Take care and cherish the memories.



Brenda Jordan

July 3, 2020

We are truly sorry to hear of Walter Jr.'s passing. May our Lord bless and comfort your family during this time of grief. Please accept our sincere condolences.

Mildred (Mickey) 'Gilliam' Jordan's family

Walter Sr. and my mother, Mildred (Mickey) 'Gilliam', were brother and sister.

Gwendolyn Moore

July 1, 2020

Our (Earnestine Gilliam's children) thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Walter Jr., all the wonderful and beautiful times at Grandma's house will always be remembered!

We love you!

Chaundra Carter

July 1, 2020

I have known my Uncle my whole life. I like to believe if it wasn't for him I wouldn't even be here. (Many don't that is what I think be he did. ) He and my father served together in the Navy and it was there my mom and dad met. He would tell me the story over and over how he babysat me when I was a baby and I screamed cried and hollered the whole time. A memory he had and shared with me. I remember going to Woolworths on Westchester with him and we would stop and dance on summer nights while the music would be blasting from someones boom box. (Yup old school)
When I was a teen he would tell me Chaundra that's why we can have real conversation because you say what you mean and know one can push you over. Now every conversation was great but it was respected to sometimes agree to disagree. The most recent memory is him telling me a few years ago how how proud he was that Desi Kenny and myself made it out the city and was standing on our own! My last memory is our last conversation about his friends and the Phillipines and how close I was to retirement from the Navy. He told a few sea stories and I told a few too.
My heart goes out to his children his mother and sister along with our entire family and friends. I tell you to know and understand him was to love him. Sleep easy Unc kiss Grandpa Auntie Pat Connie Nana & Cheryl for me. Until we meet again the memories will last forever.
With all the love in my heart

Melanie Quarterman

July 1, 2020

I was a fellow coworker of Walter’s and we always used to exchange stories about our children and life “back in the day”.
It truly hurt my heart when I heard he passed. He was always funny, kind and
a gentleman. May he rest in eternal peace and my sincere condolences to his family.

Carolyn Birchette

June 30, 2020

To the family, I am truly sadden to hear of Walter's death. I am his cousin Carolyn( daughter of Ada Beatrice Gilliam Goodwyn) and have fond memories of him visiting our grandparents(Johnny &Gertrude Gilliam) during the summer in Dewitt,VA. My mother Ada along with her youngest brother John are the only surviving siblings to Walter
Jr.' s father. I pray that the Lord will comfort and watch over you as you grieve your love ones death.

Carolyn Goodwyn Birchette

Dorothy. Gilliam Walker (cousin )

June 30, 2020

Sending prayers and condolences to the family. I'm Willie Hebert Gilliam daughter from Va.

Milagros Caldwell

June 30, 2020

Walter and I were good friends he was funny , loved to laughed and talk. I will truly miss talking to him and receiving inspirational quotes. May God receive him into his kingdom and he have eternal peace. My condolences to his family and friends.

Marina Roldan

June 30, 2020

Surely your goodness and love will follow me,all the days of my life,and i will dwell in the house of the Lord forever...PSALM 23:6
My deepest condolences to the bereaved family of Walter... I also mourn for a loss of a great friend and confidant.