Photography

       


Benjamin T. "Benji" Gilliard

March 16, 1947 ~ July 28, 2017 (age 70)
Benjamin Thomas "Benji" Gilliard, age 70, of Bristol, RI, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, July 28, 2017 the Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol.

Benji was born on March 16, 1947 in Newport, RI. He was the first African-American baby born at the Newport Navy Hospital. He is the son of the late Benjamin M. Gilliard. He is survived by his mother, Priscilla (Mason) Gilliard.

Benji always greeted everyone with an infectious smile and had an amazing ability to strike up a conversation about anything with anyone he encountered. He was an avid lover of art and a quite gifted artist himself. At Rogers High School, he often received scholarships from the Newport Art Association. While at Rogers, he was a member of the student council and the ROTC. Benji was also proud of his service to our country as a member of the United States Army, serving in Vietnam. After four years of service, he was honorably discharged in February 1969. What Benji loved the most was spending time with his family, especially his younger cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was the grandson of the late George M. and Daisy Gilliard, and the late Thomas A. and Estelle Mason. He was the nephew of the late Erma and Will Dingel, Florie Pelzer, Lee Gilliard, Charles Gilliard, Samuel Gilliard and George Gilliard. He is survived by aunts and uncles, Beatrice and Lee Gilliard, Neaome Cooper, Mabel Lemons and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews of South Carolina. He was the nephew of the late Thomas G. Mason and Jacqueline M. and Namon Choice. He was cousin to the late Raymond D. Choice and Diane M. Choice. He is survived by cousins, Earl N. (Deidre) Smith of Taunton, MA, Estelle D. (Harry) Maxwell of Jacksonville, FL, Thomas A. (Judith) Choice, Namon K. Choice and Norman K. Choice, all of Newport, RI, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews throughout the country.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, August 10, 2017 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. in Community Baptist Church, 50 Dr. Marcus A. Wheatland Blvd., Newport, RI, with a funeral service at 11:00 a.m. in the church. Burial will follow in Trinity Cemetery in Portsmouth, RI.

Cemetery Details

Trinity Cemetery
East Main Road
Portsmouth, RI, 02871

Visitation

AUG 10. 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Community Baptist Church

50 Dr. Marcus Wheatland Boulevard

Newport, RI, US, 02840

Service

AUG 10. 11:00 AM

Community Baptist Church

50 Dr. Marcus Wheatland Boulevard

Newport, RI, US, 02840

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