JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Former Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum's father died in Jacksonville, according to an announcement from the Gillum family on Saturday night. He was 69 years old.
Charles 'Sonny' Gillum was born June 4, 1949 and worked as a construction worker. The family did not disclose the cause of death but said more information, including funeral arrangements, will be released in the coming days.
Andrew Gillum, a former 2018 Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate, released the following statement about his father's passing.
“'The son of a school bus driver and a construction worker.' How many times have I said those words over the last two years? Today the life of that construction worker — my dad, Charles 'Sonny' Gillum — came to a close. My father was among the best of men. Not because he was perfect, but because he was real. He got up every day to lay bricks and earn an honest living for his family. If it wasn’t construction work, you would find my dad selling fruits and vegetables on the street corner. My father never met a stranger. As a child, I would hate to run errands with him because he couldn’t make it a few feet without striking up a conversation with anyone who looked ever slightly in his direction. At my college graduation, the family joke was that Dad got so impatient with the length of the program, he made his way practically around Bragg Stadium talking to whomever would lend an ear. His phrase — while rubbing his hands together — was, 'So many people, so little time!' I will miss my dad terribly. But I know that he is in a better place. He signed off every phone call with me saying, 'Be good, check your surroundings, and don’t forget to pray.' My prayer tonight is that he finds peace beyond our understanding until we meet again. Love you daddy."