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Obituary for John Donald Gillis

John Donald Gillis was born May 15, 1922 and died September 2, 2017 in Olympia, WA. He was born in Washtucna, WA the youngest of eight children born to John and Ethel Gillis. John attended WSU prior to volunteering for the armed forces in 1942. He attained the rank of Captain and served as an Anti-Tank Unit Commander in the European Theater. He participated in three major campaign battles: the battle of the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), the battle of Rhineland, and the battle of Central Germany. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star, and his unit was awarded the Coat of Arms for participating in the liberation of the fortified City of Colmar, France. After being discharged in 1946 John returned to WSU and graduated in 1948.

John and his wife Arlene were married June 14, 1947 in Spokane, WA. He began his career as a high school teacher, teaching in Odessa, WA, Concrete, WA and Enumclaw, WA, retiring from the Enumclaw School District after 31 years of teaching. John was a loving and dedicated family man, always thinking of the welfare of others. John and Arlene enjoyed traveling to many foreign and domestic places of interest. He also enjoyed gardening and all outdoor activities. He was a member and served terms as an elder of Calvary Presbyterian Church in Enumclaw.

John is survived by his daughters Susan Gillis and Cathy Ashford (Mike) both of Olympia, WA and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Arlene in 2012, 5 brothers and 2 sisters.

A graveside service with military honors will be held Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 2:00pm at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA. Remembrances may be made to the Salvation Army or a charity of the donor’s choice.


Upcoming Events

Graveside

Tuesday

26

Sep

2:00 PM
Tahoma National Cemetery

18600 SE 240th Street
Kent, WA 98042

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