Date of Death:  October 12, 2022

Service Details

A memorial service will be held at the Chandler First Church of the Nazarene on Friday November 4th, 2022 at 11:00 in the morning. She will be laid to rest at the Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, CA with an Air Force Honor graveside service on December 2, 2022 at 11:00 in the morning.

Obituary Notice

Carolyn Yvonne (Gilliam) Little

March 5, 1943 – October 12, 2022


Born in Lonepine, CA to Roy L. Gilliam and Ella Pauline (Rhodes) Gilliam.

Carolyn grew up in Death Valley, CA with older brother Roy L. Gilliam Jr., 1941-1985 and younger sister Barbara (Gilliam) Waddell, 1944-2009.

Carolyn is survived by her children Thomas Little and Yvonne (Mike) Sampson, grandchildren Madeleine (Mike) Nichols, Emily Sampson, Nick Sampson, Shannon Sampson, Claire Sampson and Ethan Little, brother-in-law Roy Waddell, nieces Julie (Mike) Payne and Suzanne (Essex) McGee, nephew Dennis (Ann) Waddell, great nieces and nephews Ashley Waddell and Essie McGee, Jake and Chloe Waddell.

After graduating from Death Valley High School, Carolyn continued her education at Warner Pacific College in Portland, OR.

Carolyn served in the United States Air Force and was stationed in the Philippines during the Vietnam Conflict. Her favorite story of her time in service was flying around the world in seven days! While on leave, she visited six countries and three continents.

Carolyn raised her kids in the San Jacinto Valley of Southern California. Living across the street from the San Jacinto Church of the Nazarene, Carolyn became a committed member of the congregation. After moving to Hemet, CA she and her kids attended the Hemet Church of the Nazarene for over twenty years. Carolyn’s retirement years were spent in Chandler, OK where she found joy being involved with several church families, including Chandler Assembly of God, Cowboy Church and her beloved Chandler First Church of the Nazarene.

The guiding force in her life was her unwavering faith in Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior, strength and provider. Her Bible was read daily and Carolyn was often asked by many in her church to pray for their needs. She made a list and prayed daily for everyone who asked.


One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek:

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,

to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.

Psalm 27:4

Additional Information

In lieu of flowers, please attend a church service in her memory.

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  1. While I only met Carolyn once and did not have the pleasure of getting to know her I do know Yvonne well.
    Carolyn raised a wonderfully kind daughter and friend.
    My hope is that Yvonne and family find comfort in knowing Carolyn had 100percent faith that she was leaving them to be with our Lord and savior and all those she loved who died before her.
    RIP Carolyn.

  2. The short time I talked to Carolyn I could tell how much she loved Jesus!!! She had a lot of faith and such a positive attitude!!! I wish I could’ve come to sing to her. I’m praying for my dear friend Yvonne, one of the sweetest freinds I have and the whole family!!! May Jesus bring u only the true peace that he can give!!! Blessings!!!!

  3. Carolyn, my dear CA sister. You were a driving force for all who knew you. I will always cherish the memories with you and all the Gilliam and Wadell families. You will be missed by your friends and family. Rest in peace.

  4. Auntie, you were one of a kind! You had an infectious laugh, a strong faith, and a ready smile. I know that you’re now in the arms of our Lord and you are frolicking like a lamb released from the stall as the Bible says. Mike and Sug you were amazing ambassadors for Christ in the love, care, and support you gave your mom these last years.

  5. You all did an amazing job in caring for Carolyn during her illness! I am glad you had this time to spend together. My thoughts and prayers are with you each and every day. All my love.

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