Cover photo for Bessie Arlene Gilliland's Obituary
Bessie Arlene Gilliland Profile Photo
1925 Bessie 2022

Bessie Arlene Gilliland

February 28, 1925 — July 16, 2022

Bessie Arlene Gilliland, age 97, passed away to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, July 16, 2022 at Willow creek Assisted Living in Elizabethtown, KY where she was the longest tenured resident.


She was a member of Hodgenville United Methodist Church and was beloved by her community.  Prior to moving to Kentucky, Bessie lived in Salina, Kansas and was a member of the local Christian Church.  She volunteered for many years for the Meals on Wheels program as well as a local adult tutoring program in Salina.


Once in Kentucky, Bessie started volunteering at Hodgenville Elementary as a reading buddy to younger children.  She was a strong advocate for education and wanted to give back as much as she could.  She loved spending time with her friends and family and was also a member of the Red Hat Society.  Her favorite activities included playing bridge, traveling, crossword puzzles, reading, watching sports and visiting family and friends.


Bessie was preceded in death by her parents, Chester and Cora Munkres of Kansas; her husband, Basil King of Kansas; second husband, Dr. Jim Gilliland of Kansas; her sister, Gladys Steele of California; her brother, George Munkres of Kansas; her half-brother, Charlie Matson of California and her youngest son, Billy King of Hodgenville, KY.


She is survived by her son, Benjamin (Susan) King of Council Grove, Kansas; her daughter, Becky Smith of Shawnee, Kansas; grandchildren, Dulcinea (Dallas) Rakestraw, Jake (Lori) King, Amanda (Jeff) Sullivan, Lucas (Crystal) Smith, Mitchell (Zola) Smith, Kate (Spencer) Boley, Caleb (Carrie) King and Kyle (Cecilia) King and great-grandchildren, Thatcher, Brynn, Emerson, Nicholas, Dayton, Jared, Owen, Marcus, Anastasiya, Addison, Leyton, Maddox, Hudson, Caroline, Savannah and Nova.


Bessie’s wishes were to be cremated and for her ashes to be placed with her youngest son, Bill in Kentucky and with her husband, Basil in Council Grove, Kansas. 


A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 30, at Magnolia, KY.  A graveside service in Council Grove, Kansas will be held on August 20 at 11 a.m. in Greenwood Cemetery.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bessie Arlene Gilliland, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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