It is with profound sadness that we the family announce the death of our father, Art Gillis, at the age of 89, surrounded by his children and grandchildren. Da passed away at home on July 29, 2017 after a lengthy stay in hospital.
Born in Dartmouth, Da spent his formative years in Inverness until 15 years of age, when he moved to Dominion to begin a long career as a coal miner. Until his passing, Da always proudly referred himself as an Invernesser. At the age of 17 years, he left the mines to serve our country as a proud member of the 1st Battalion Black Watch. After the war, Da returned to his job in the coal mines where he remained for 46 years. It was during the post war years that he met and married the love of his life, Georgie MacSween in 1956. Together they raised six children and made a home in Dominion where they, as a family remained community volunteers and supporters.
Da was elected to town council in 1975 and served as Deputy Mayor under the late Mayor and friend Art MacDonald. He chaired the inaugural Celebration by the Sea which evolved into Seaside Daze. For his efforts Da was awarded with Citizen of the Year for the town of Dominion in 1981.
He was a proud member of the Dominion Volunteer Fire Department, St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Eugene’s Building Committee, Branch 3 Legion, and lector of St. Eugene’s Parish and a parish council member.
Da was always willing to extend a helping hand to anyone in need. One of his greatest pleasures was to spend time on Dominion Beach where he became a common fixture to those travelling the boardwalk.
By his admission, Da’s greatest accomplishment was his family. He was most happy when the crowd would arrive at the house and spend time telling old stories, sharing a meal and refreshments.
Art is survived by his children, Paula (Allan), Fred (Joanne), Carol (Darren), Arthur (Rosemary), Terry (Donna) and Bernie (Cathy). He is also survived by his grandchildren, Gillies, Nicole (Micke), Rebecca, Brett, Morgan, Liam, Connor, Georgia, Kailin, Cassie, Anna and Davan, and his great grandchildren, Alexandria and Jensen.
He was predeceased by his wife, Georgie, and brother, George Larder.
Visitation will be held Thursday, August 3, 2017 from 3-7 p.m. at the T.J. Tracey Cremation and Burial Specialists, 370 Reserve St., Glace Bay, 902849-4199. Funeral service will be take place at 11 a.m. Friday August 4, 2017 at Immaculate Conception Church, Bridgeport with Father Daniel Boudreau officiating. Interment to follow in St. Eugene’s Parish Cemetery.
Expression of sympathy may be made to the family by visiting www.tjtracey.com.
On behalf of our father, we would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Reggie Sebastian, staff of Unit 4B of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, Cape Care staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, and continuing care. Special thanks is extended to his “buddies” Carrie Ellsworth and Sylvia Facchin for their love and support they displayed during Da’s final months.
“Rest in Peace.”