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Norma Jean Gilliland was born on July 3, 1936, to Lewis and Madge (Crittenden) Brand on the farm in Union County, IA. The tenth of eleven children, Jean was eagerly welcomed into a large family full of loving brothers and sisters.
Jean grew up on a farm near Mount Ayr, attended country school and eventually Mount Ayr High School, where she soon fell in love with Lyle Gilliland. After graduating high school in 1954, Jean and Lyle married on May 26, 1954. She and Lyle went on to have four beautiful children, Barbara Jean, Carol Anne, Michael Lyle and Steven Duane and continuing their legacy with now 12 grandchildren, and 32 great grandchildren.
Lyle and Jean farmed with Lyle’s father until his death in 1965. It was then they and their four children moved to the family farm near Lamoni, IA where they lived for more than 40 years. Jean happily worked alongside Lyle in all areas of the farm- raising pigs, milking cows and baling hay. She also served as a bank teller in both Lamoni and Kellerton for several years. Jean loved to demonstrate her love to people through cooking, and people sure enjoyed being loved in this way; she was an incredible cook. Jean accepted Christ as her Savior in 1956 and her life was changed because of this relationship. Being one of the three charter families instrumental in starting the Mount Ayr Regular Baptist Church, they spent their lives faithfully serving. Lyle and Jean shared a lifetime of love and adventure together until Lyle passed away in 2010.
Jean went home to heaven on June 30, 2022, at the Mount Ayr Health Care Center. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lyle; her parents, Lewis and Madge Brand; her brothers, Harold, Clyde, Earl and Dean Brand; her sisters, Lois Triggs and Margaret Brand; and her grandson, Jeremy Newton.
Jean is survived by her children, Barbara (Dennis) Reynolds of Nevada, IA; Carol Anne (Bob) Galloway of Kellerton, IA; Mike (Debbie) of Mount Ayr, IA; and Steve (Deborah) of Huxley, IA; grandsons, James (Heather), Jason (Amy), Joshua (Kim) Reynolds, Matthew (Kristy), Mitchell (Charity), and Brett Gilliland; granddaughters, Jennifer (David) Gustafson, Sarah Newton, Laura (Vova) Kisarets, Maggie (Daniel) Cox, Kimberly (Eric) Brumm and Karin (Mitch) Bloomquist; 32 great grandchildren; brothers, Paul (Georgia) Brand, Lee Brand; sisters, Wilma Schafer, Betty Cobb; and many nieces, nephews and friends. Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr is in charge of her arrangements.
Services were held at 10:00 a.m. –on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 at the Regular Baptist Church in Mount Ayr, IA
Officiants were Rev. Dennis Reynolds, Matthew Gilliland and Rev. James Reynolds.
Musicians were Kristy Gilliland and Vera Stalcup.
Songs were “Great is Thy Faithfulness” and “Victory in Jesus”.
Casketbearers were James Reynolds, Jason Reynolds, Joshua Reynolds, Matthew Gilliland, Brett Gilliland and Mitchell Gilliland.
Honorary pallbearers were Dave Gustafson, Vova Kisarets, Daniel Cox, Eric Brumm and Mitch Bloomquist
Burial in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr, IA.
Memorials to Laura and Vova Kisarets, Ukraine Ministry.

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