Gerry Gillis: Rest in Peace

My uncle Gerry Gillis passed away Saturday, Joyce with Uncle Gerry on Hawthorne St. 1997 at the age of 80, in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Gerry was quite a guy. When Joyce and I took Kelly & Leigh to visit Nova Scotia during the summer of 1997, we stayed with Gerry at the family home on Hawthorne Street, where he and his wife Bubby had raised their nine children – the same home where my grandfather had settled with his clan, after leaving Sydney for Antigonish. Gerry and Bubby were the most gracious hosts.

The Gillis Homestead at 60 Hawthorne Street, AntigonishWhile walking downtown from the house after our first night there, Joyce told me that she had had a dream in the night that a baby appeared to her and said “Hi Mom.” Nine months later, Abby was born. Must be something about that house…

The obituary in the Halifax Chronicle Herald listed just an amazing amount of volunteer work that Gerry had done over the years. But the one thing that will stick in my mind is the last sentence – five simple words: “He was a good man.” Amen to that. I’m not sure how many obituaries can rightfully end that way, but I pray that mine can.