Cover photo for Michael Gilham's Obituary
Michael Gilham Profile Photo

Michael Gilham

December 6, 1946 — June 8, 2023


Michael Gilham

MORTON Michael Leroy Gilham, 76, of Morton, passed away on Thursday, June 8, 2023 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

He was born on December 9, 1946 to Earl and Gladys Gilham.

Mike was married to Donna Isbell in 1965 and later to Katie Westlake in 1986.  Out of those marriages, he had five children. Holly (Ken) Woodruff, Chad Gilham, Elijah (Amanda) Eisele, Isaiah Gilham, and Zack Gilham. Also surviving are seven grandchildren, Tavish (Roderick Jr.) Rudd, Tory Woodruff, Cole (Charlotte) Gilham, Caleb Gilham, Grace Gilham, Kade Woodruff, and Kannon Gilham; two great grandchildren with another on the way; and two sisters, Linda (Gilham) Brown and Monica Tjarks.

He is proceeded in death by his parents.

Mike was brilliant and went through the four-year apprentice program at Caterpillar, where he worked for over 40 years as a Tool Designer. One of Mike‘s elementary school teachers said he was the smartest kid she had ever taught. Everyone who knew Mike will tell you he loved sports, especially the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Bears, and St. Louis Cardinals. You could always find him watching a game.

Mike had a quiet and introverted personality and a quick mind. His favorite insults were “you are a slim minded individual,” and “you are half a bubble off on a level”. All five of his kids have heard those comments throughout the years when any of us did something to annoy him.

Mike had a major stroke quite a few years ago, and his strength of mind and body were once again proven when he fought his way back to walk again and learned to use his non-dominant hand. Now it’s time for him to rest in peace.

A celebration of life and private graveside committal service will take place at a later date. Burial of cremated remains will be in Hirstein Cemetery in Morton.  Memorials may be made to Tazewell Animal Protective Society “TAPS”.

Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton is handling arrangements.

To leave an online condolence for the family, visit

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