Lt. Colonel (RET) John B. Gillis, 84


John Gillis

John Gillis

GORHAM — Lt. Colonel (RET) John Bertram Gillis of Gorham passed quietly in his sleep on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Known more commonly as Jack, he was 84 years old.

Jack married Carolyn in South Portland on June 15, 1952. After her passing in 2001, he married Dorothy in 2002. They most recently lived in Gorham after having resided in Williamsburg, Va., Charlton, Mass. and Casco.

While serving in the United States Army, Jack and Carolyn lived in Washington, Maryland, Fort Knox, Kentucky, Panama Canal Zone, Germany, Indiana, New Mexico, Maine and Alexandria, Va. with two tours in Vietnam.

Jack graduated from South Portland High School on June 15, 1948. He was in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves prior to attending college. He attended and graduated from Norwich University on June 7, 1953. He began active duty in the U.S. Army at Fort Knox, Ky. that same year and retiring with the rank of Lt. Colonel in 1980. He proudly served his country for 27 years. For his service, he was awarded Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and National Defense Service Medal, as well as other military medals from the United States, Vietnam and the Republic of China.

Upon retiring from the Army, Jack worked for McDonnell Aircraft Company/Boeing in St. Louis, Mo. He also became a real estate agent.

He was a 33rd Degree Mason of Presumpscot Lodge No. 0070 in Windham, and member of Moolah Shrine Temple in St. Louis, Mo.

He was predeceased by his loving wife of 49 years, Carolyn Adelaide Pelletier.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Andersen Gillis; his three children, John Gillis, David Gillis and Susan Picciano, all residing in Northern Virginia; as well as five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; and Dorothy’s two children, Kirsten Davis of South Casco, and Craig Andersen of Hamburg, N.Y.

Services, with full military honors, will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. at a later date. Online condolences may be shared at

In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations given in his name to: Norwich University Development Fund or to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

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