OBITUARY

Richard Jerome Gillis

February 12, 1921March 10, 2013

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Richard Jerome Gillis, much-loved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and brother, who died peacefully on March 10th, 2013, at the young age of 92. A strong hard-working man with deep devotion and faith, he was surrounded by his loving family and staff at Inverness Consolidated Memorial Hospital. Richard "Richie" was born in Halifax, on February 12, 1921, to Duncan and Philomena (Moran) Gillis. As a child Richard moved to Glencoe (Upper Southwest Mabou) with his parents and siblings when they returned from Halifax to look after the Gillis farm, his grandfather Angus Peter (Aonghas Pheadair) being in poor health. Richard attended school at “Peter’s (Roddy’s) Bridge” Upper Southwest Mabou. As a young man he worked at John Angus Beaton’s mill in Glencoe and on the construction of the breakwater in Port Hood. At age 21 he joined the war effort and was placed in the Royal Canadian Artillery, 1st Infantry, 2nd Field Regiment where he took part in the Invasion in Sicily, participated in several battles throughout Italy and France, and finally entered the Netherlands where his regiment took part in the Liberation of Holland, and participated in the “clean up” after the war ended in 1945. Later he was awarded six medals for his service overseas: The War Medal (1939–1945), The Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, The 1939–1945 Star, The Italy Star, The Medal of Remembrance (Thank You Canada), and The France and Germany Star. Richard returned home to Upper Southwest Mabou where he met and later married his sweetheart, Mary Anna (Mamie) MacIsaac on September 6th, 1949. Theirs was a lifetime of true love and devotion to each other and their family. In 1951 they moved to Toronto, then Mississauga where they worked and raised a family with Richard working first with Canadian Wire & Cable and then for the Campbell Soup Company for twenty years. A true Cape Bretoner, he and the family made the long drive every summer back to Glencoe, and in a 1975 Richard, Mamie and their six children returned to their beloved Cape Breton and built a home in Dungarry, near Port Hood. A year later they opened the Dungarry Grill where for several years they made the “best hamburgers” in town and worked until their retirement. True to self, honest, hard-working and humble, Richard was highly regarded and respected by those who knew him and a wonderful role model as a husband and father to his children and grandchildren. His deep faith was evident in his strong family values, his dedication to his church and his tremendous pride and love for his wife and family. Richard was a member of Royal Canadian Legion, Angus L. Mac Donald, branch 132 and a prior member of Royal Canadian Legion branch 82, Port Credit Ontario. He was a member of St. Peter’s Parish, Port Hood, and St. Joseph’s Parish in Glencoe. Richard is survived by children, Anne Marie (Norman) Cameron, Lower Sackville; Richard (Martha) Gillis, Dunmore; Sandy (Francene) Gillis, Port Hood; Joey (Darlene) Gillis, Dunmore; Duncan (Deanna) Gillis, Toronto; Christine (Duncan Arthur) Campbell, Mabou. He is also survived by his sister Margaret Mac Donell and Mary Conlon, and predeceased by his wife of fifty-nine years, Mamie (Mary Anna), brothers Joe, Danny, and Pat, and two infant children. Sacred to Richard’s heart, as well as his pride and joy were his grandchildren, Carolyn, Lisa, Suzanne, Chrisanna, Jeff, Alisha, Kim, Scott, James, Brennan, Andrew, Mairinn, Eilidh, Seonaid, and great granddaughter Evelyn. Visitation at the Port Hood Funeral Home on Wednesday, March 13th 7-9 pm; Thursday, March 14th 2-4, and 7-9; with funeral mass Friday, March 15th, 12:00 noon, at St Joseph’s Parish Church, Glencoe Mills, with Father Bernard Mac Donald as celebrant. Legion service to follow with burial in Parish Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to St. Joseph's Parish Cemetery Fund, Glencoe.On-line condolences may be made to www.invernessfuneralhome.com

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, March 13, 2013
  • Visitation Thursday, March 14, 2013
  • Funeral Mass Friday, March 15, 2013
REMEMBERING

Richard Jerome Gillis

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY

receive updates when new memories are posted

RECEIVE UPDATES
Janice Ferguson

March 15, 2013

Death leaves a hurt no one can heal.
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.

March 15, 2013

Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Gillis Family during this difficult time. We will remember Richard with fondness.
Keeping you in our prayers.
Children and grandchildren of Bill and Kay Green

MIKE DOUCETTE

March 15, 2013

To Duncan & Family
Just a few words to say on the passing of your father Richard-the one time I came down to Cape Breton with Mary even not knowing me He treated me like a long time friend just another sign of being a true gentleman-He will be sadly missed,but lives on in Heaven with all the other angels

March 14, 2013

To all members of the Gillis family,we send our condolences.Your dad was a special man whose values appear again in his children.Sending our love to all of you.

Heather Norris

March 14, 2013

Dear Anne Marie & family, so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing, my thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Heather

Kim MacDonald

March 14, 2013

Duncan, Andrew and Family

Sending you our thoughts at this time. The wonderful obituary certainly honors your father and what he meant to you all.

Kim, Ann and Jayden

Leonnie MacDonald

March 14, 2013

Duncan and Family

Condolences to the Gillis Family on the loss of Richard. My thoughts are with you at this time

Leonnie MacDonald

Mary Gillis

March 14, 2013

Uncle Richie although we didn't see much of each other I thought of you often. It was so very special last time I went down to Cape Breton to see you. It brings me deep sadness that you are no longer here on earth but you will remain in my heart and thoughts forever. You are now with Aunt Mamie, Grandma, Mom & Dad and so many others gone before you. Now you can all have a BIG CEILIDH in Heaven.
With loving memories until we meet again.
Your loving niece Mary

John & Teresa vanZutphen

March 14, 2013

To the Gillis Family, Please accept our sincere sympathy on Richie's passing. We remember him as a good Christian gentleman. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. John & Teresa vanZutphen, Florida

Janet vanZutphen

March 14, 2013

We were very sorry to hear of Richie's passing. We are away until Sunday but wanted you all to know how very sorry we are for your loss. Although we didn't see Richie very often we had a special place in our hearts for him. Our little visits with him over the years as his first door neighbors will be cherished. Our children were also very sad to hear of his passing as well. Janet, Harvey, Anne, Robyn, Kati, Ben &Colin Patrick vanZutphen