SMSGT James H. “Jim” Gilreath, age 76 passed away Wednesday, October 30, 2019 in Chautauqua Health and Rehabilitation Center. He was born June 19, 1943 in Dahlonega, Georgia the son of Hubert John Gilreath and Eula Berry Gilreath. Jim was a veteran of the United States Air Force accomplishing a distinctive 26 year career with two tours of duty in Viet Nam, during the crisis, and a stint with Nato stationed in Turkey in 1978. This Georgia boy’s years of service with the air force brought him to England on a Sunday, and that night he went to the air force NCO Club with his buddies and their wives to purchase a buffet ticket. The bartender was a girl named Mo and she knew the buddies and their wives and was introduced to Jim. Mo later that evening went to the manager’s office and told the manager she had just met the man she was going to marry. Ten months later, this self fulfilled prophesy came true and she and Jim were married and were launched on a ride around the world as she followed him in his career, with exception to tours in Viet Nam. In 1979 Jim and Mo purchased property in Red Bay and Jim spent 17 years in civil service at Site C-6 where coincidentally he once again was connected with Nato. During this time he was a Charter Member of Twin Cities Elk Club and was a Life Member of DeFuniak Springs AmVets. He was a gardener and often times said, “if you can eat it, I can grow it” and he proved it many times so his wife Mo learned the art of canning fruits and vegetables. In addition, Jim was quite the builder, adding decks and rooms to their home in Red Bay. This past March 6th, Jim and Mo completed 48 years of being best friends, military companions, and man and wife. On Wednesday morning Jim left, as “Advanced Party” to his and Mo’s final and permanent duty station.
Jim is predeceased by his son, Paul Raymond Gilreath, his brothers, Jerry Gilreath and Frankie Gilreath, his sister, Doris Burns and his brother-in-law Michael O’Malley and wife Marlene. Among survivors are his wife Maureen O’Malley Gilreath, His son, Travis James Gilreath and wife Tisha, his grandsons, Dylan and Sean Gilreath; his sisters, Shirley Burnett and Pat Wall, his brothers-in-law, Joel Thomas Burns, Tony O’Malley and Phillip John O’Malley and wife Margaret; his sister-in-law Margaret Ann O’Malley also survives.
The family wishes to thank the nurses and staff at Chautauqua Health and Rehabilitation Center and Regency Hospice for the care given to Jim. Floral arrangements are being accepted. A time of visitation will be Monday, November 4, 2019 from Noon until 1 P.M. in Jerry Evans Chapel with the funeral beginning at 1 PM with Brother Joel Thomas Burns officiating. Full military graveside honors will follow in Red Bay Cemetery.
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