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Jim Gillam

Celebration of Life will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9,a t Real Life Church in Springfield, Mo.

James Patrick “Jim” Gillam was born on Sept. 5, 1955, to James and Carol Gillam on an Air Force Base in Madrid, Spain, and died on Monday, Nov. 4 (2019) in Springfield, Missouri.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents and two older brothers, Michael and Danny. 

He leaves behind his soulmate and wife, Mary, nine children, 22 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind one brother, Ronnie, many nieces and nephews, friends, and co-workers. 

Jim was an “Air Force Brat” and grew up all around the globe. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the Air Force and served in Vietnam during the war and also in Korea and the Philippines and state side and retired after 22 years. While in the Air Force, he obtained his RN associate degree. 

Jim’s nursing career spanned many decades, from bedside nursing, to management, and education. He was recently employed at North Arkansas/ Harrison in the Education Department and helped in the ED and as House Supervisor when needed. He was also the Pediatric Chair for the Arkansas ENA. Jim and Mary recently started Ozark Mountain Education Group to educate the public and medical personnel in a variety of classes from basic to advanced life support. 

Jim was also a dedicated advocate to animal rescue. Jim and Mary worked countless hours every day to save the lives of animals that would have otherwise never had been given a home. He was a co-owner and a board member of Valley Hills Animal Rescue. His passion was to help these animals find their forever home. He was so proud when one of the societies rejected strays came in and was chosen to be a service dog for a veteran, through Canines for Camo and found their mission in life.   

Jim loved his family and friends but loved God above all else. Jim was saved in 2004 at the amphitheater at Camp Cherry Mountain with Mary by his side. 

While Jim’s passing leaves a hole that can never be filled. His smile, laughter, kindness, compassion, orneriness, teasing and corny jokes will be missed and never forgotten. Jim truly showed the love of Jesus to all that he met and his non-judgmental love was very much like Christ’s love for each of us. 

His family would like to thank you all for everything. We are blessed to have each of you in our lives. We love to hear “Jim” stories so feel free to share them with us. We will never get tired of hearing about our “Jim”, “Pat”, “Dad”, “Ol’ Man”, “Paw-Paw”, or “Papa Bear.”

A celebration of Jim’s life will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at Real Life Church in Springfield, Missouri.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Valley Hills Animal Rescue.