Today, my father went home to his father.
Donald Neil Gillis
30 January 1929 – 12 June 2018
My dad was born in Rumford, Maine. He graduated from
Stephens High School. He was the oldest of five children born to
John A. Gillis and Emelia Marie Carrier.
He is survived by one sister.
(Above, my dad is in the lower right corner.)
After high school, my dad served 18 months in the Maine State Guard.
He was stationed in Korea.
Upon returning home, my dad attended the Boston College of Optometry and then moved to southern California. Following are some of my favorite photographs of my dad.
My parents on their wedding day.
My dad playing with his three children.
I hope my dad has a joyous reunion with his family.
To my blog readers, thank you for your support these last 6 years. I have decided to discontinue this phase of my career. I have loved and learned from these posts.
Donald Neil Gillis, a resident of Ridgefield, Washington, died at home Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Don and his wife had retired to the area in 2008 and enjoyed its scenic beauty.
Don was born in Rumford, Maine, in 1929 to John Angus Gillis and Emelia Marie Carrier. Following his graduation from Stephens High School, he served in the Maine State Guard for 18 months and was stationed in Korea. He attended the Boston School of Optometry and relocated to southern California upon completing his studies.
Don married Bar Dee Armstrong in 1958. They enjoyed careers in the trucking industry and real estate while raising three children and spending countless hours in home improvements. Don was a life-long lover of jazz, played the piano, frequented jazz clubs, and cultivated an outstanding recording collection. His friendship with jazz pianist and composer Shelly Berg and wife Julia brought him much joy later in life. Don was a skilled carpenter and excelled at restoring antique furniture as well as creating his own pieces. He was a devoted fan of baseball and would attend little league, high school, college, or professional games. He was especially fond of the California Angels and watching his grown sons play in and umpire community leagues.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; an infant brother, Vincent Paul Gillis; two sisters, Jacqueline Gillis Gauthier and Collette Gillis Rossi; and younger brother, Richard C. Gillis. He is survived by (private).
Feature image: Ridgefield Washington Wildlife Refuge, a favorite place of my father’s.
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