Jerry Edward Gilliland Sr., 69, died peacefully at his Nashville home Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, following a brave and lengthy battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his three children, Jerry E. "Jay" Gilliland Jr., Karen A. Gilliland and David S. Gilliland. A native of Chattanooga, he was preceded in death by his father, Jack. C. Gilliland Jr; his mother, Betty Jean Croissant Gilliland; and his brother, Jack C. Gilliland III. Jerry was a devoted father and grandfather; he dedicated his adult life to their upbringing and nurturing. Retired for a decade, the successful businessman spent the bulk of his time with his children, their spouses, and in the last few years, his three young grandchildren. Born Aug. 8, 1944, he was an alumni of Middle Tennessee State University where he was a founding father of Kappa Alpha fraternity. He held both a bachelor of science and masters degrees from MTSU and a Ph.D, in psychology from Mississippi State University. He served in the U.S. Army Armored Division as 1st Lt. for two years. Jerry began his career as a clinical psychologist in Chattanooga. As an entrepreneur, he founded Park Healthcare Co. which owned and operated hospitals across the South. He was the former owner of New Life Lodge, a drug and alcohol treatment center in Burns, Tenn. He had a deep passion for helping people in their recovery. A spiritual man with a huge heart, his life revolved around family. An avid fly fisherman and dove hunter, he passed those loves on to his sons and grandson. He leaves a legacy of love, optimism and generosity; his absence to family and friends is acute. He is survived by Jerry E. "Jay" Gilliland Jr. and his wife, Sonya; Karen Gilliland and her fiance, Rodney Smith; David S. Gilliland and his wife, Amanda; Priscilla Gilliland Goodwin, the mother of his children; his three grandchildren, Alex Edward Humphrey, age 10; Emma Anne Smith, age 2; Amelia Jean Gilliland, age 1; nieces, Lisa Gilliland Friant and Cindy Gilliland Gray; nephews, Jock Gilliland and Paul Gilliland. A life celebration service will be at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, at Harpeth Hills Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens. Pallbearers are Michael Phillips, David Phillips, Mike Phillips, Bill Phillips, Tom King, Dennis ORiley, Eddie Bastick and Rodney Smith. Honorary Pallbearer is Roscoe Wade. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. today and 2-3 p.m. Wednesday at Harpeth Hills Funeral Home, 9090 Highway 100, Nashville, 615- 646-9292 www.afamilylegacy.com.