Born July 1942 in Roswell New Mexico
Started school in the fall of 1948, was held back in the second grade because I could not read or write on a level with my class. Failed the 6th grade once again because I could not read past a third grade level. Left High School in December of 1961 I just could not stand the embarrassment of failing one more time.
No one had any idea what dyslexia was back in those days.
Worked at many dead end jobs until 1965.
I served my Sheet Metal Apprenticeship in El Paso 1965 to 1969.
Married Frieda Mary Spite 10/27/68. She graduated from El Paso High School in 1966.
She was my soul mate, my best friend and my life mate. She passed away January 2, 2011.
Anyone who had ever meet her will be glad to tell you just as I will, that I married well above my station in life, by a hell of a lot.
1 Daughter born 11/02/70 Ronda Jane.
She is the Executive Director of the Plumbing Contractors’ Worker Comp Fund for the State of New Mexico. Her husband Clarence Lopez is an electriction and member of I.B.E.W. Local Union #611 here in Albuquerque. Two granddaughters Isis Indika 8 years old and Jade Sterling Lopez 6 years old and a grandson Osiris Orian, born on November 19, 2008.
Moved to Alamogordo November of 1972 to open Gilliland Metal Craft (went broke 1974).
While living in Alamo I built the metal relief of Jesus that hangs in the Lutheran Church in Alamo at 1212 Washington St, the Iron bars on the Plaza Bar & Restaurant and over 100 iron gates and window guards in Alamo.
Moved to Albuquerque May 1975 & worked for Miller Metal 1975 to June of 1980.
Received Patten number 4,056,289 on November 1, 1977 for a toy named Rolly-Polly, never sold it, Mattel and I could not come to terms, all though we tried for two years.
I was diagnosed with dyslexia in 1978, took all the reading and writing courses available at the time and man did my life take off, once I could read and write. Through the Rocky Mountain Labor School and the George Meany Labor Studies Center, I am 22 hours short of a labor law degree.
Elected Business Representative of Sheet Metal Workers Local Union #49, June 1980 served until July 1989.
During that time I received the United Way Community Services Award for the year of 1988.
Elected President New Mexico Federation of Labor AFL-CIO (67,000 union members) 1/3/1990 served until 9/29/2001.
Inducted into the New Mexico Democrat Party Hall of Fame February 1993.
Elected to the Democrat National Committee in 1998 as New Mexico’s National Committeeman. One of five votes for New Mexico on the National Committee,
Elected member of Electoral College in 2000. (So I can be introduced as the honorable) Did not run for re-election in 2004, as a personal protest because, BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES have made running for office in America as well as New Mexico a BLOOD SPORT. Instead of working for “What is in the best interest of Americans”.
I am still a democrat and will be till I die, but I also believe no matter what party a person is in they should insist that politics be about “We the People”
I received Dollars against Diabetes Distinguisher Services Award 1994. We raised $60,000.00 to fight Diabetes.
I Received United Way Outstanding Individual Award for the year of 1992. (Which in the past was called the man of the year award).
Named one of New Mexico’s most 100 Influential Individual by the Albuquerque Business Journal 12 years in a row.
RETIRED!! 9/28/2001 (finally found a job I really am qualified for).
Elected President Emeritus for life 9-29-2001 the only individual every so elected in the 125 year history of the New Mexico Federation of Labor AFL-CIO.
Some of the Boards and Commissions I have served on
New Mexico Mutual Insurance Co. Inc. 6 years
Union Savings Bank 2 years
Independent Medical Examination Provider Selection Committee 4 years
United Way Board of Central New Mexico 6 years
National Energy Management Committee 2 years
George E. “Jeep” Gilliland
President Emeritus (Has Been)
New Mexico Federation of Labor AFL-CIO
728 Shire St. SW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87121
Home phone 505 831 5305
Cell phone 505 379 3214