Roy J. Gilliland

Roy J. Gilliland

Roy J. Gilliland, 95, passed on Nov. 9, 2022, at Wellston, Ohio. He was born April 25, 1927, in Coal Township, Jackson County, Ohio the son of Roy D. and Mabel Gilliland. Roy was slated to be valedictorian, Coalton High School, 1945, but instead he left school, to enlist in the United States Navy during World War II.

Upon returning from military service, he enrolled at The Ohio State University and received a B.S. degree in Business Administration; and in 1951 he received a Bachelor of Law, later made a J.D. (Juris Doctorate). After admission to the Ohio Bar (1952), worked for the Ohio Tax Department; and entered law practice in Wellston in 1955. He was admitted to the United States District Bar in 1956 and was admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court in 1960. Roy served in several elected offices including Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney, Ohio State Representative, Jackson County Probate/Juvenile Judge, Jackson County Court, and its successor, Jackson County Municipal Court, and Wellston City Council.

Roy served in several organizations including, the Jackson County Republican Executive Committee, Wellston Lions Club, the Grange, Jackson County Bar Association, American Legion Post 371; V.F.W. Post 9092; N.R.A., Farmer Sportsman Club, Masonic Order, Scottish Rite, and Shriners, Hope United Methodist Church, Chamber of Commerce; Fair Board; March of Dimes, Boy Scouts Committee, Jackson County Water Company, Ohillco Society, and the Coalton Historical Society.

Roy spent 40 years in the U.S. Naval Reserve and retired as a Lieutenant Commander.

Roy is survived by his children, Kyle R. Gilliland (Dana), Dr. Arla Gilliland McVicker (Shawn), and Bret J. Gilliland; grandchildren, Sean, Erin, and Alec Gilliland, and Daniel, Andrew, and Emily McVicker; and great-granddaughter, Gabrielle Gilliland. Roy was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Karleene; and his sister, Donna.

Calling hours will be Saturday, Nov. 12, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the McWilliams Funeral Home in Wellston, with a Masonic service beginning at 7 p.m. Funeral service, with military honors, will be Sunday, Nov. 13, at 2 p.m. at the McWilliams Funeral Home with Pastor Tim Jones officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions in Roy’s memory be given to the Alzheimer’s Association, 644 Linn Street, Suite 1026, Cincinnati, Ohio 45203 or online at

Online condolences can be sent to the family at

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