Obituary of Renna Francis Gilland
Renna Francis Gilland peacefully transitioned this life and gained her wings on Monday, March 14, 2022, in Kalamazoo, MI surrounded by her family. Renna was born October 10, 1939, to Andrew Dobbs and Virginia (Burns) Dobbs in Aberdeen, MS. She was the youngest of six children (three boys & three girls). Renna was a devout believer in Jesus Christ and was baptized at an early age. Renna attended Athens-Aberdeen Community Schools where her love of writing and poetry was born. In April of 1955, Renna was united in marriage to Ezell Gilland and from that union six children were born (three boys & three girls). In 1960 the young couple decided to pack up their four children to pursue opportunities to better their families’ lives. Their decision brought them to Kalamazoo, MI. Once they arrived in Kalamazoo two more children were added to this union and completed the Gilland family. In 1968, Renna was faced with the daunting challenge of raising six children alone. With the help of God and her village, she established herself as the rock of the Gilland family, exemplifying love, strength, and perseverance as she successfully raised her children. Renna was a member of Galilee Baptist Church, as well as The Order of The Eastern Stars, Deborah Chapter #24 of Kalamazoo, MI. Her family and praising God brought her great joy. In her spare time, Renna enjoyed listening to Lee Williams and The Spiritual QC’s, B.B. King, and the Michigan Nightingales, writing poetry, completing word search books, shopping, traveling, watching her favorite shows: Sanford and Son, Perry Mason and The Andy Griffith Show. No matter what trials Renna faced, she always exercised her faith in God, remained positive and gave God glory knowing everything would be alright. During her final days, after losing her mobility and voice, she found enough strength to sing, “You do know, like I know, what God has done for me” after receiving a prayer of comfort from her Pastor, Dr. Michael T. Scott. She was preceded in death by her parents Andrew, and Virginia, one son, Ezell Gilland Jr., two brothers; Andrew Dobbs Jr. and Otha Lee Dobbs, two sisters; Pearl Hadley and Flonnie Mae Roberts. Renna leaves to cherish her memory five children: Eloise Gilland, Irma (Gary) Wells, Irene (Terry) Wells, David (Sheila) Gilland, Charles (Shirley) Gilland all of Kalamazoo, MI. One brother, Rev. Willis (Evangelist Della) Dobbs of Amory, MS. 18 grandchildren; Dameion W. Gilland, Ezell Randell Gilland, Jon’ell (Katie) Gilland, Tyler (Ashley) Gilland, Scott (Michelle) Harter, Doug Harter & Mary Madonna, James Young, Gary D. Wells, Marcus (Breanna) Wells, Destiny Wells, Ashley Wells, Alisha Blanks, TJ Wells, Ajamian (Rev. Keisha) Gardner, Breanna Gilland, CJ Gilland, Shayla Gilland and a host of great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. Special friends; Lurlene Smith, Bonnie Corbin, Flora Wadley, special daughter-in-law Julie Gilland and her Eastern Star sisters of the Deborah Chapter #24. Renna was a wonderful mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great-great grandmother, and confidant to many. She will leave many to cherish her memory, remember her impact and live out her legacy.
Family and Friends Gathering
10:30 am - 11:00 am
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Galilee Baptist Church
1216 North Westnedge Ave.
Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States