John Marshall Gilliland, 88, a resident of Cleveland, Tennessee, passed away Saturday, December 4, 2021, in a Chattanooga healthcare facility.
A lifelong resident of Cleveland, he attended the Cleveland First Baptist Church. He was a 1951graduate of Bradley Central High School as well as a graduate University of Tennessee in 1956 with a degree in Agriculture. He attended officer training school before entering the Navy in 1957 and was honorably discharged in 1964. He went on to become a member of the Tennessee Fruit and Vegetable Association for many years and was the owner of Gilliland Orchards. He famed in LaVergne, Tn. and grew peaches from 1976-1986, selling peaches in Knoxville, Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Chattanooga since the early 1970s. In addition, he grew peaches in Ringgold from 1993-2008. John never retired. He actively ran Gilliland’s Orchard until his death. He loved playing snooker, shooting pool, dancing, meals, and socializing at the Bradley-Cleveland Senior Center.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Alma Jean Gilliland; parents, Clee R. Gilliland and Wilma Coleman Gilliland Merrill; and brother, Robert Gilliland.
He is survived by three children, LuAnn Carey (Mike) of Cleveland, Jane Flowers (Michael) of Cleveland, and Lyn Dixon (Joseph) of Dawsonville, GA; eight grandchildren, Meranda Smith of Asheville, NC, Jeremy Flowers (Cary) of Cleveland, Emily Carey of Cleveland, Elijah Carey of Cleveland, Rachel Flowers of Cleveland, Megan Dixon, Josiah Dixon, and Jaden Dixon all of Dawsonville, GA; four great-grandchildren; two sisters, Jane Giles, Watkinsville, GA, and Sally Cole (Eddie) of Carrollton, GA; and several nieces and nephews also survive.
A celebration of his life will be conducted at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, in the chapel of Ralph Buckner Funeral Home with the Rev. Tom Wickes officiating. Interment will follow in Cedar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery. A white dove release ceremony and the playing of bagpipes will conclude the service.
The family will receive friends from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10, at the funeral home.
We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Gilliland family guestbook at www.ralphbuckner.com.