WILMINGTON, MA — Edward J. Gillis, age 93, a life-long resident of Wilmington, passed away on April 14, 2019.
Ed was born in Boston, MA on March 21, 1926; he was the son of the late Malcolm and Anne (Connors) Gillis. Ed was raised in the “Federal Gardens” section of Wilmington and enjoyed “hanging out” at Jinx Pond. Ed was educated in the Wilmington School Systems before enlisting in the United States Navy during WWII.
Ed’s active Military duties began on September 20, 1943 as a Apprentice Seaman; he served all over the Asiatic Pacific and was involved in the Battle of Iwo Jima. Ed was part of the 133rd Naval Construction Battalion who were involved with constructing air strips. Ed was honorably discharged in 1946 and re-enlisted as a Machinist’s Mate Third Class to continue to serve the country throughout the rest of World War II. Ed received many commendations for his fine service including the Purple Heart, World War II Victory Medal, America Area Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Star and the Good Conduct Medal. Ed was honorably discharged in February of 1948 and returned home to his family in Wilmington.
Ed was the beloved of 64 years to the late Catherine “Kay” (Dunn) Gillis, father of Edward Gillis & his wife Nancy of Ipswich, Kathy Warford & her husband Jack, John Gillis & his wife Maryann, Tom Gillis & his wife Maureen all of Wilmington and Ann Chleapas & her husband Jim of North Andover. He was “Dad Gillis” to his grandchildren Jack Warford & wife Jes, the late Shane Warford, Michael Warford & wife Carolyn, Rory Warford & wife Aimee, Annie Baldassari & husband Bob, Brendan Warford, Tom Warford & wife Amanda, Eileen Warford, Shana Warford, Katie Ware & husband Paul, John Gillis & wife Caitlin, Matthew Gillis & wife Sarah, Kelly Schofield & husband Steve, Kerry Rodenhiser & husband Jason, Samantha Gillis, Laura Gillis, Benjamin Gillis, John Chleapas, Kathryn Chleapas & her fiancé Christhian Tejada, Bill Chleapas and great-grandchildren Jake, Anna, Ava, Keira, Meghann, Landon, Logan, Aurora, Brayden, Finn, Ryleigh, Brooke, John, Mackenzie, Michael, John, Matthew, Jack, Summer and Hailey. Brother of Richard Gillis & wife Joyce of Lexington, the late John Gillis & late wife Beverly, the late James “Buddy” Gillis & wife Margaret “Peg” formerly of Wilmington, the late Mary V. Gillis, the late Mary Gillis, the late Eleanor Cameron & husband Bill of Wilmington and the late George Gillis & wife Dottie of North Reading.
Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Saturday, April 20th from 10:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m. immediately followed by a Graveside Service with Military Honors at 1:00 p.m. in the Veteran’s Section of Wildwood Cemetery, 233 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Ed’s memory may be made to the Local Heroes, Inc., P.O. Box 536, Wilmington, MA 01887.
(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)
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