Gillen, William J.
William J. Gillen, On Thursday, February 27, 2014, William John Gillen of Southbury passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family. He is now reunited with his beloved wife, Geraldine of 66 years, their infant daughter, Monica, and son-in-law, David Stampfl. Mr. Gillen was born in New York City on April 5, 1925 to William and Nancy Gillen (née Pontieri). He was predeceased by his brother, Robert Gillen. Bill leaves behind his brother, John Gillen of Cornwall, NY, twelve grandchildren and a great-grandchild, Aidan, several nieces and nephews and his six children - Kevin Gillen of South Glastonbury, CT, his wife Chonita, and Kevin's son, Billy; Geraldine (Susie) Gillen of Woodbury, CT; Maureen Gillen-Brown of Marion, MA and her three children, Liam, Siobhan and Conor; Sheila Gillen Gross of Roxbury, CT, her husband Rick, and their three children, Landan, Alexandra and Zachary; Patty Gillen McQuail of Newtown, CT, her husband Matthew, and their daughters, Mallory and Keilly; Bernadette Addessi of Newtown, CT, her husband Wayne, and their three children, Meghan, Kathryn and Thomas. Bill served in WWII
as a bombardier in the U.S. Army
Air Corps, and was a U.S. Army combat infantryman during the Korean War
. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, and nothing pleased him more than his family. Following his military service, Bill attended Fairfield University, from which he graduated in 1954. He became a teacher and taught in the Weston, CT school system for more than 30 years, where he gained a reputation as an incredible teacher, and was recognized by all who knew him as a master of his craft. Bill proudly pursued teaching as a vocation, as opposed to a job, and viewed every life experience as a "learning moment". Following his retirement in 1982, Bill and his wife lived in Florida for more than 20 years, where they enjoyed a great life together, entertaining family and friends. Bill will always be remembered for his ability to love unselfishly and spread laughter, and kindness wherever he went and always left a room better than before he had entered it. He possessed a unique quality to insert levity into most situations, and was always at his best when things seemed to be at their worst. Whenever anyone asked him how he was, Bill's familiar reply was simply stated - "Everything is beautiful". The amazing twinkle in his eyes and his ever-present smile will live on in the hearts of his children, his grandchildren and great grandchild, and anyone who had the privilege to know him. Bill would also want all to know that he was a loyal and devoted friend to Bill W. for the last 32 years of his life. The Gillen family would like to express its deepest gratitude to the doctors, nurses and staff at Danbury Hospital and The Hearth in Southbury, CT for the untiring and unparalleled level of care that they gave to our Dad. Calling hours are Tuesday, March 4 from 5:00-8:00 pm at the Honan Funeral Home, 58 Main St., Newtown, CT. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 5 at 10:30 am at St. Rose of Lima, Newtown, CT. Interment, with full military honors, will follow at St. Peter's Cemetery in Danbury. Contributions may be made in Bill's memory to the Weston High School Scholarship Committee, P.O. Box 1026, Weston, CT 06883 and to Simply Smiles, 1771 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880 and also at simplysmiles.org