Ray Duane Gillis was born on March 10, 1940 in Onalaska, WA to parents Gilman and Myrtle Gillis. On September 16, 2020 at age 80, he was peacefully called home to join his father, mother and sister in Heaven. He leaves the legacy of a loving brother, devoted dad, unforgettable papa and a faithful friend.
Duane lived a full life of serving others. He admirably served our country during the Vietnam War as an Engineman Second Class in the Navy from 1962 to 1968. He played the role of Santa for his community on Lake Sawyer, Washington where he called home the last 20 years of his life. He was a committed member to his church, Lake Sawyer Ward, in Kent, Washington. He had a passion for serving the singles ministry and organizing group activities in the Seattle area. Duane had a heart for hosting whether it was the members of his church, youth events, close friends, friends of friends or his beloved family.
Duane spent his days cherishing the water from his lakefront property on Lake Sawyer, “a piece of heaven on earth” as he would say. Spending many hours laughing on his pontoon boat, kayaking, and building fires for his loved ones brought him great joy. He loved to travel and take many adventures. He would often load up his RV with his kayak and fishing pole to travel up and down the Northwest. He filled his free time dreaming up projects and bringing them to life. He was creative beyond imagination and known as a man of many trades.
Duane’s footprint on Earth will never be forgotten as he left a great impact on many lives. Ray Duane Gillis was laid to rest at the Tahoma National Cemetery on Monday, October 5, 2020. His life was honored with a beautiful military ceremony including a gun salute and the folding of the flag. Due to COVID, his service was limited to close family only. Now that he is laid to rest, all friends and family are welcome to bid their farewells at the cemetery. His life will be forever cherished, and he will be missed by many.
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