Mr. Gillis had resided in Van Buren, Missouri for more than forty years and was formerly of Poplar Bluff, Missouri. He was a United States Navy veteran and serviced his country in World War II. He was an avid outdoorsman, musician, pilot and Ham Radio enthusiast. As a teenager he worked with his uncle for two years in Mexico which fueled his desire to travel. He retired from Southwestern Bell Telephone Company after forty-three years of service where he was a major part of building the telephone infrastructure of southeast Missouri. After he retired he fulfilled his desire to travel by visiting twenty-eight countries and six continents. He was a member of the First Christian Church in Poplar Bluff, Missouri and former Deputy Sheriff of Carter County.
Survivors include his wife, Carol Gillis of Van Buren; survivors include three sons, Larry Dale Gillis and his wife, Jamie, Robert Lee Gillis and wife, Kathy and Raymond Irl Gillis and wife Kathy; one step-son, Ronald Neil Pender; one daughter, Victoria Lynn Gillis Hammack and husband, Barry; two step-daughters, Cathy Lynn Pender Terry and Sharon Kay Pender Sellinger; eighteen grandchildren; eighteen great-grandchildren and many other relatives and friends who mourn his passing.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 12, 2013 in the First Baptist Church in Van Buren, Missouri with Rev. Ron Robinson officiating.
In lieu of flowers please make memorial donations to the Backpack Program in care of the First Baptist Church in Van Buren, Mo. Online condolences may be made at www.mcspaddenfh.com