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Helen Louise (Johnson) Gilleland

September 14, 1918 ~ May 8, 2018 (age 99)

Helen Louise Johnson Gilleland, 100, of Signal Mountain, died on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.  She was born September 14, 1917, in Tyner on a dairy farm later taken over by the Volunteer Ordnance Works.  She was the descendent of families who were early settlers of this area – the Julian and Johnston families.  She had been a resident of Signal Mountain since 1955.

Helen attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.  She was employed by Tennessee Valley Authority in Knoxville and Hamilton County Department of Education for 22 years as Secretary of Signal Mountain Elementary School.  She was awarded a PTA Life Membership for her contribution to the school.  She served as secretary for the Chattanooga District Superintendent of the Methodist Church.

She was a charter member of Signal Crest United Methodist Church where she served as church pianist for several years.  At age 99, she continued to play the piano for musical groups.  She also was a member of the Moccasin Bend Chapter of the DAR and Wolftever Fishing Club. 

Helen was preceded in death by her husband of 72 years, Jackson Emelius Gilleland; her parents, Claude Dixon and Ann Mack Johnson; sister, Betty Irick; brothers, Dane and Julian Johnson; and grandson, James Dixon Cook.

Helen is survived by her daughters, Mary (Scott) Cook of Signal Mountain and Ann (Robert) Neighbors of Lakeway, Texas; grandchildren, David Jackson (Louise) Cook of Signal Mountain,  Susannah Helen Cook of Atlanta, Georgia, and Laurie Hollingsworth Cook (Deron) Stevens of Chattanooga; great-grandchildren, Jackson Park Cook and Mabry Augusta Cook of Signal Mountain.

A graveside service will be held at Chattanooga National Cemetery on Friday, May 11 at 10:30 AM with The Reverend Dr. William E. Dudley officiating.   

Please visit to share condolences with the family.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to your favorite charity.

Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home & Crematory, Battlefield Parkway.

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