Howard R. "Dick" Gillis, 81, of Jacksonville died Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield.
He was born on the Gillis farm near Walkerville on May 24, 1939, the son of Eugene and Ruby Pryor Gillis. Dick married Carol Pond on Nov. 17, 1963, and they later were divorced. He married Doris Smith Dixon on Jan. 25, 1981, and she preceded him in death on Jan. 9, 2004.
Dick is survived by four children, Vickie (Larry) Pence of Litchfield, Deborah (Arnold) Stepanek of Brennan, Texas, Jeff Dixon of Jacksonville and Tracy (Randy) Wheeler of Houston, Texas; 14 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and his siblings, June (Bob) Douglas of White Hall, Harvey "Lee" (the late Arlette) Gillis of Jacksonville, Frederick Eugene (the late Linda) Gillis of White Hall, and George Edward Gillis of Greene County. He was preceded in death by two sons, Tim Gillis and Mark Gillis; one sister, Donna Faye (the late Kenneth) Gillis Campbell, and one brother, John Gillis (surviving wife, Mary Lou Drake).
Dick served in the United States Navy from 1958 to 1962. He worked for a short time at Kordite in Jacksonville and eventually worked for 31 years as a supervisor at Mobil Chemical. Following his retirement, Dick was employed at Walmart in Jacksonville. He was a member of Youngblood Baptist Church in Nortonville, where he served as a deacon. Dick was an active member of the White Hall Drag-O-Way. Dick enjoyed camping, fishing, telling jokes, playing cards and spending time with his family.
A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 6, 2021, at Williamson Funeral Home, with burial at Diamond Grove Cemetery. The family will meet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to Youngblood Baptist Church or White Hall Drag-O-Way. Condolences may be left online at airsman-hires.com.