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Chad Anthony Gilliland

December 24, 1993 ~ November 23, 2019 (age 25)


Chad Anthony Gilliland, beloved son, brother, uncle, grandson, cousin, nephew, and friend, passed away November 23rd, 2019 at the age of 25. 


We would agree that 25 years is too short, but in the lines below with some help from others, we would like to share just how much living and loving Chad was able to accomplish in that time. 


Chad was born December 24th, 1993 in Indianapolis, IN to Tony and Jenny Gilliland (Darland). Once Chad arrived home, he met his older sister Courtney, and he quickly became part of the extended Gilliland, Darland, and Ormes family. Chad’s family was uniquely special because they were always just down the street or already on their way over. 


A few years later, Courtney and Chad were joined by Claire and the “3 C’s” were together. 


Chad grew up surrounded by family and spent many summers in, near, and on Lake Freeman. He enjoyed books and school (mainly the social part), playing travel soccer, and cheering for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (we think this started as a love for the logo and grew into a lifelong following). Chad, like his cousins, spent many days with his Grandmother Peggy Darland at the famous “Camp Granny” and at other parties and get togethers. We know that Chad is up there giving her a couple good laughs. 


Chad attended Franklin Central High School and made the varsity soccer team as a freshman. His high school career was also marked with good grades, a few parties at his parent’s house while they were out of town for softball, playing football his senior year, traveling with his family, making people laugh, going all in on spirit nights, and swimming on the swim team. In high school, he had many groups that he was close with and many more people knew him and knew him well. 


Illinois College was the next stop for Chad where he played football and swam. While he enjoyed his time there, he always knew deep down he wanted to be in Bloomington wearing Cream and Crimson. The years Chad spent at IU attending the Kelley School of Business were some of his most exciting. He visited both California and New York in the span of just a few months with friends, was a supporter turned best friend to many on the IU Soccer Team, took and did well in many challenging classes, and was always around people making them laugh. 


He worked selling insurance for awhile, but around three years ago took an opportunity at Johnson’s BBQ where he quickly became THE Pitmaster. He perfected the art of making brisket, experimented with sauces and dry rubs, and gave his family and friends far too many free samples. Nothing made Chad more proud than when people left the shack with bellies full and big smiles. 


A little over a year ago, Chad’s world got even brighter when his niece, Harper Anne, was born to sister Courtney and her husband Brendan. The bond between Chad and Harper was very special and very powerful. Those that got to witness it are better for it. Uncle (aka Funcle) Chad was infamous for sneaking Harper ice cream and chocolate, getting her to yell at the top of her lungs while he ran with her around the house, and was always the first one to get her out of the car when she came over. Harper will always be reminded of the love he had for her. 


Throughout this well lived life, Chad excelled at two things above all others: debating and connecting. His debating was legendary. If it was raining, Chad would try his hardest to convince you that it was bone dry outside. Often by the end of the conversation, you would be walking outside without an umbrella.


The power of connecting and bringing people together is how Chad ought to be remembered. Here are just a few of the comments people have made about Chad Anthony Gilliland:


“Chad is one of the best young men I’ve come to know. Always smiling and offering a heartfelt hello.”


“I always remembered Chad as one of the funniest guys in any class I had at FC.  As the shy girl , he always made me smile and was full of great energy and made any class I had with him fun.”


“Chad was always one of those guys that i could walk into a convo with & instantly the debate would just erupt with passion. The only thing to tone it down would be his seamless jokes that he’d fit in to bring it back to a lighthearted, laughable chat between two chums. that gift always resonated with me.. what a good hearted & bull-whip-smart dude.”


“So many great memories of Chad’s kind and loving heart. I’m proud to have known him.”


“Chad was a special, kind young man who always greeted me with a hug whenever I saw him.”


“I briefly knew Chad when we were freshmen at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois. We were both not from the area so we bonded over that but he was always a good time and a good laugh”


“I felt like it was nonstop laughs when Chad was in the room.”


“I’m gonna miss your kind, loving generous heart. Love you man”


“I hope you knew how much you meant to me. You were a best friend and a brother. Not one day will go by that I won’t think about how thankful I am to have had you as a friend.”


“We all lost a great one. Chad was the least selfish most caring guy in the world. Whenever something was wrong he asked. He genuinely cared about everyone around. He cared about your well being. He wanted the best out of you. He helped pull me through times when most people weren't there. I love this man so much and I always will.”


Though words often fail at times like these, we think the above statements show just a small fraction of who Chad was and what he meant to everyone. Chad loved hard and was so well loved in return and knew how much he was loved. 


We are having a Celebration of Chad’s life on Saturday, November 30th from 1pm-4pm at MashCraft Brewery in Greenwood. We hope that those who knew him will join us, share some laughs, good memories and a couple cold ones as we celebrate just how special Chad’s life truly was. He would want everyone to have a good time, so please come dressed like you’re going to have a drink with a friend. 



“If you love something, love it completely, cherish it, say it, but most importantly, show it. Life is finite and fragile, and just because something is there one day, it might not be the next. Never take that for granted.

Say what you need to say, then say a little more.

Say too much. Show too much. Love too much.

Everything is temporary but love.

Love outlives us all.”




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