SHS community loses a bright smile


Jordin Baker

Joe Gilliam’s jersey on display at SHS home games

The Southport community lost one of it’s brightest faces on Sept. 11, 2018. Joe Gilliam, 26,  passed that day after battling with a rare form of cancer for the past year. According to Indy Star, the doctors discovered the tumor that was caused by a grade four spinal glioblastoma that wrapped around Gilliam’s spinal cord.

Joe was a star athlete and a stellar student at SHS.

“(Joe) knew that his ticket to success was in the classroom,” guidance counselor Briana Underwood said.

Joe had an impact on a lot of people in the community. One person he had the most impact on was Underwood. According to Underwood, Joe was like a little brother to her for the short period of time. He was even one of the first people at Underwood’s house after she had her daughter.

“His smile was contagious,” both Underwood and former SHS head football coach Bill Peebles said.

Joe’s class of 2010 was the class to help change the atmosphere of SHS football. According to Maxpreps, Joe was on the 2008 football team which brought the first winning record since at least 2004 and the first for the Peebles coaching era.

Joe was a part of the class that changed the community and will always be remembered for not only being a great athlete, but also a loving husband, a caring friend and one of the best role models a person could look up to.

To read the eulogy Bill Peebles wrote and read at Joe Gilliam’s funeral, click here: