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Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home

199 Woodford Street, Portland, ME

OBITUARY

Jerome L. Gillis

January 27, 1926March 13, 2020

FALMOUTH – Jerome L. Gillis, 94, of Falmouth, passed away on Friday, March 13, 2020. Jerry was born on Jan. 27, 1926, in Brooklyn, N.Y., the only child of Harry and Bertha (Sohn) Gillis. After his mother died of cancer when he was 9 years old, he was raised by his grandparents in Chelsea, Mass. where he attended public schools, graduating from Chelsea High School. He enrolled at Dartmouth College in 1943 where he was in the V-12 training program for Naval officers, and he graduated from Dartmouth in 1947.

He went on to receive his master’s degree in public health from Columbia University. He married the former Barbara Lunder in March 1952, and they remained married until her death in 1992. He was a hospital administrator in Newport, R.I. and Los Angeles, Calif. in the early years of their marriage, before relocating to the east coast to be near family. In 1959 he co-founded along with his father-in-law, Robert Lunder, and his brother-in-law, Leonard Lunder, the current Lunder Manufacturing in Saco, which continues to be operated by the family today. He commuted from Massachusetts until he moved his family to Portland where he and Barbara raised their three children. Until recently, he continued to work two mornings a week, and the business was a source of pride for him.

Jerry is survived by his children, Susan Bisbing and her husband Spence of Cumberland Foreside, Kevin Gillis and his partner Susan McDevitt of Kennebunk, and Todd Gillis and his wife Debra of Cape Elizabeth; his five grandchildren, Jason Bisbing and Andrew Bisbing of Maine, Melissa Gillis Bilchik and her husband Steve of Sherman Oaks, Calif., Samantha Gillis Busenhart and her husband Michael of Edwards Colo., and Michael Gillis of Chicago, Ill.; and his two great-grandchildren who brought him special joy, Lily and Teddy Bilchik of California. He also leaves his cousin, Sandy Miller, and cousins Peter and Paula Lunder, and Burt Silberstein; as well as life long family friend, Joan Lisson.

Due to current circumstances, a Funeral Service will be held at a later date.

Please visit www.jonesrichbarnes.com to leave a tribute in Jerry’s memory.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to theGosnell Memorial Hospice House11 Hunnewell Rd. Scarborough, ME 041074

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  • FAMILY

  • Harry Gillis, Father (deceased)
  • Bertha (Sohn) Gillis, Mother (deceased)
  • Susan Bisbing (Spence Bisbing), Daughter
  • Kevin Gillis (Susan McDevitt), Son
  • Todd Gillis (Debra Gillis), Son
  • Jason Bisbing, Grandson
  • Andrew Bisbing, Grandson
  • Melissa Gillis Bilchik (Steve Bilchik), Granddaughter
  • Samantha Gillis Busenhart (Michael Busenhart), Granddaughter
  • Michael Gillis, Grandson
  • Lily Bilchik, Great Granddaughter
  • Teddy Bilchik, Great Grandson

Services

No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Jerome L. Gillis

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Jim Morris

March 29, 2020

Todd,

So sorry to hear about your dad. I'm pleased he got to enjoy such a long and accomplished life. My condolences to you and your family. It's wonderful that he got to spend so many years with all of you.

Jim Morris
DHS '75

Carlton Butland

March 15, 2020

I am heartily sorry for the loss of a truly wonderful man.
You will sadly be missed by me always.
Carl Butland

Helene Plourdd

March 15, 2020

My most deepest condolences on Jerry’s passing. I first met him in 1967. We were able to maintain a friendship for over 50 years. I was For this I am very grateful. Jerry was a wonderful man and had the best smile. His greatest joy was his family. He was proud of each and everyone one of them. Working with his son Todd and grandson Andrew brought him immense happiness. He was so excited at the birth of his great children. Jerry was truly blessed to have such a kind, loving and caring family. Jerry will be greatly missed by all. May your many memories bring you comfort.

Sincerely,
Helene Plourde

Joe Thornton

March 15, 2020

Susan, Kevin and family: While Sarah and I did not get to know your father well as new neighbors to him we found him kind, courteous and friendly. His work ethic was inspiring. Your dedication to him was admirable. Condolences.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY