Life Story / Obituary
Chris Leroy Gillette passed peacefully from this life at 7:37 a.m., Sunday, May 13, 2018, with his daughter Julie at his side.
Born January 2, 1931, in Allegan, MI, to George Gillette and Dorothy LeBlanche (Dailey) Gillette, Chris was the fourth of eight children. Growing up in Allegan, he spent many hours on the Kalamazoo River boating, fishing, and camping. He graduated from Allegan High School in 1949 and during his high school years was a member of the football, basketball, bowling, and track teams; lettering all four years in track. He was an avid hunter as a young man and an avid fisherman all of his life.
Chris joined the Air Force in 1950 and was stationed in England for two years followed by two years with the 3rd AACS Squadron, Mobile at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma. He received the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. He was honorably discharged in 1954, and the following year met his first wife, Beverly E. Schlyer. They were married in August of 1956, and from that union all four of his children were born. Chris and Beverly divorced in 1972. He married his second wife, Mollie M. Greenway, in March of 1978. Chris worked at Angle Steele in Plainwell, MI from 1954 to 1967. After that time, he worked at Fuller Transmission, Checker Motors, and as a supervisor at Allen Electronics, all in Kalamazoo, MI.
Chris loved the seasons of Michigan, bluegills, tin roof sundaes, a good western, college football, being outside, and his family.
He leaves behind, to mourn his passing, daughters Julie Gillette (Kevin Vichcales) of San Antonio TX, Rene Gillette (Patty Duwell) of Apple Valley CA, and Gail Gillette of San Antonio TX; grandsons Michael Scott Horein of Kalamazoo MI and Casey Christopher Horein of San Antonio TX; sister Patricia (Dan) Newnum of South Haven MI; brother James “Tony” (Marilyn) Gillette of Bradenton FL; step-daughter Barb (Bob) Chapman, step-grandchildren Tammy (George) Hill and Skip (Danielle) Thompson, and step-great granddaughter Talisha Thompson and her son Joshua all of the Plainwell/Otsego area; a number of cousins including Zea Gillette and Earl (Pat) Gillette Jr. of Allegan MI; and many nieces and nephews.
He was proceeded in death by his father George Gillette; mother Dorothy (Dailey) Crowle; his son Chris Leroy Gillette Jr.; brothers Charles, Glenn, Robert, and Earl Dean Gillette; sister Carol (Pike) Gregrich; wife Mollie (Greenway) Gillette; and step-daughter Anne (Younger) Marshall.
Cremation has taken place and a private graveside service is planned. Interment at Hillside Cemetery Plainwell, MI. Donations may be made to Wings Home in Allegan, MI, https://www.wingshome.org.