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December 6, 1948 – March 9, 2023

Gladys Lorine Gilliam Reed departed this life on Thursday, March 9, 2023, at her home in Sussex, VA.

Gladys was born on December 6, 1948, to the late Wilson and Elsie Gilliam. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Edward Reed; daughter, Mamie E. Reed; grandson, Deron E. Reed; and three brothers, Woodrow “Gee”, Jesse and George “Nat” Gilliam. 

Gladys became a member of the New Hope Baptist Church at a very young age. She was a dedicated servant on the Usher Board for many years until her health declined.

Gladys was a lifelong resident of Sussex County, VA, and a graduate of Sussex Central High School, Class of 1968. She worked 15 years (1969-1984) at Brown and Williamson in Petersburg, VA. She then worked for 27 years (1984-2011) as a dispatcher at the Sussex County Sheriff Department. Her sheriff department coworkers were her second family and affectionally referred to her as “Mama Reed”.

Gladys loved gospel music. Her favorite song was “Never Would Have Made It.”  She enjoyed talking on the phone to family and friends. There were never any short conversations had. She didn’t watch sports but enjoyed teasing her siblings when their favorite teams lost.

Gladys can be described in so many words, but the one that stands out most is STRONG. She was often referred to as “Sister Solider” because she overcame so much. She wore various hats during her lifetime. She was a wife, a mother (even to her siblings who referred to her as “Mother Superior”), grandmother, aunt, caregiver, mentor and so much more.

She leaves to cherish her memories: two brothers, Larry Gilliam of Richmond, VA, Montaque “Q” Gilliam of Waverly, VA; one sister, Dorothy Gilliam of District Heights, MD; six nieces, Caitlyn Gilliam, Laura Reed, Taneca Taylor, Patricia Moore, Shelia Kelley and Michelle Reynolds; nine nephews, Kim Boone, Aaron, Tyron, Shun and Adrian Gilliam, Bobby Reed, Samuel, Joseph and Michael Rose; two sisters-in-law, Inez Gilliam and Essie Westbrook; and a host of devoted family and friends.

Services will be held 11:00 A.M., Friday, March 17, 2023, at New Hope Baptist Church, 18183 Old Forty Road, Waverly, VA, the Rev. Jameson K. McLaughlin, Pastor, eulogist. The interment to follow at The Cargill Family Cemetery.

J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc., 102 South Avenue, Petersburg, VA, (804) 732-8911, watch the funeral services live online at