Obituary of Alphonse Martin Gillis
Age 97, of Mount Denson, passed away peacefully, with family by his side, Friday, November 18, 2022 in Dykeland Lodge, Windsor. Born on August 28, 1925 in Grand Mira North, Cape Breton, he was a son of the late Martin and Catherine (Campbell) Gillis. He was the last surviving member of his immediate family.
Dad was a veteran of the Second World War and served overseas. He was a mechanic by trade and made the most of his off time and retirement. His first priority was his family, He was always happiest when surrounded by family and friends, especially if music was involved. He enjoyed fishing and hunting at the camp in Burnt Lake (oh, if those walls could talk!), it was one of his happy places. He and Mom were avid campers and members of the Autumn Leaves group of the Family Camping and Hiking Association. His other happy place was the cottage in Grand Mira North. He and Mom and later he and Joan, spent many happy hours there. At the cottage he enjoyed playing cards, enjoying the company of those who dropped by, especially his nieces and nephews or just sitting and watching the river. It wasn’t uncommon for an impromptu kitchen Cèilidh to occur there. Dad was a remarkable man who could do anything he set his mind to. At age 65, he took up fiddle lessons and played with the Cèilidh Fiddlers. He was also an avid quilt maker spending many hours during the long winter days working on them, especially after mom's passing. Many family and friends have one of his quilts to keep them warm at night.
Dad was community minded and was active in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Hantsport, the Community Hall in Mount Denson and was a member of the Hantsport and District Lions Club. He and Mom taught us by example to give back to the community.
He is survived by children, David (Lois), Whitehorse; Cathy, Dartmouth; Martin (Susan), Hantsport; John (Wanda), Grand Falls-Windsor, NL and Bill, Ottawa; 13 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Audrey (Faulkner) and husband, Josef Koncovy, Hantsport; Charlotte Gillis, Sydney; many nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents, Dad was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Evelyn “Snooks” (Faulkner) and special friend, Joan Starrett; brothers, Joseph, Dan (Maryanne), John Alex, Allen, Lawrence and Bernard (Mary); sisters, Lucy, Anne Pitre (Bill), Florence Presseau (Armand), Mary, Clara Murphy (Harry) and Sister Josephine, CND.
The family wishes to thank the staff on the Blenkhorn unit, Dykeland Lodge for the care, compassion and hugs they gave Dad while he was a resident there. You were all his “favourite”.
Arrangements have been entrusted to DeMont Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 419 Albert St., Windsor (902-798-8317), where a visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m., on Wednesday, November 23 (masks are encouraged). A funeral mass will be held 11 a.m., Thursday, November 24 in St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 339 King St., Windsor, Rev. Father Michael Walsh officiating (masks are encouraged). A private family burial will immediately follow in St. John the Evangelist Parish Cemetery, Windsor. Everyone is welcome to attend a reception in the funeral home’s Elmcroft Reception Centre, following the service. Family flowers only, by request. Donations in memory of Dad may be made to Canadian Cancer Society, 5826 South St., Halifax, NS B3H 1S6 or a charity of one’s choice. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family by visiting: www.demontfamilyfuneralhome.ca