Biography: Shirley Diane Gilliam Holliday was born on October 28th, 1950 to the parents of John and Thelma Gilliam. She was the oldest of two children. The family migrated to New York from North Carolina in the early 60's and settled in the Harlem community.
Shirley was educated in the public school system in New York City. She graduated from Manhattan Community College and later obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Lehman College.
Shirley traveled has traveled to Ghana and several carribbean islands. And, she found trips to Ghana to be culturally and educationally rewarding. She enjoyed the culinary cuisine in Ghana; but fell in love with their fried chicken, “the best ever eaten.” Shirley was an excellent cook and took on the responsibility of preparing holiday dinners for family and friends, after moms illness.
Shirley was employed by the Port Authority of New York for 35 years and enjoyed her many years of service. She worked in several supervisory positions and in last position, she was Business Manager. Shirley resided in Coop City for more than 45 years and within the last ten years was an active participant in the Home Owners Association, and assumed the role of treasurer. She was passionate about maintaining a safe and comfortable environment for all residents. During holiday season, she enjoyed putting up decorations and collecting donations for the maintenance staff.
After retiring, she became a volunteer with AARP. And as a volunteer, she helped seniors with their taxes. She was also a keeper of family treasures and maintained contact with family and friends. She was a warm and sensitive person who had a strong passion for helping others. She took the lead role for moms’ care during her later years. If anyone needed anything, she was always available to provide support and assistance. She was an amazing friend and confidant; her energy level was always positive and she could put a positive spin on any difficult situation. Friends have described her as independent and caring.
Shirley did not have any children but Tyler Roy Grandy, a beloved cousin was viewed by all, as her grandson, and was the love of her life.
Shirley is preceded in death by her parents, John and Thelma Gilliam. She leaves a sister, Lillian Gilliam of NY, an uncle, Robert & (Jane) Grandy of Pa and a host of cousins and friends; along with April Rembert (Miss April), goddaughter.