THORBURN – Raymond Cecil “Ray” Gillis, 71, Thorburn, passed away peacefully, Saturday, August 14, 2021, at home.
Born in Antigonish, he was a son of the late Daniel Joseph and Mary Ellen (Hutchings) Gillis. Ray was employed with Michelin Tire from 1971 - 2004, having worked in Granton and prior to retirement, Opelika, Alabama. Ray was a member of Keith Lodge, No. 23. A.F. & A.M., Stellarton, several concordant bodies and the Pictou County Shrine Club. Ray possessed an amazing work ethic, continuing to work after retirement, establishing his construction company, RayCo Holdings. He enjoyed renovating houses and took great pride in his workmanship. Ray was a true JEOPARDY! fan, he loved his trivia and riddles. He was forever asking his grandchildren, “if a duck, a fox and a bag of grain needed to cross the river…”. Ray enjoyed a good joke, and the timing of his one-liners was impeccable. He was witty, sharp and those fortunate enough to receive a clever nickname from him – you knew he loved you. Ray loved his grandchildren, and cherished the nickname they gave him, “The Grand Poobah”, due to his Masonic affiliation. He leaves a rich legacy of a strong work ethic and love for family.
Surviving are his children, George “Bud” (Jennifer) Gillis, Thorburn; Tara Gillis (Joseph Poirier), Trenton; Chad Gillis (Samantha Leeming), Kemptown; grandchildren, Jeff, Jacqueline, George, Jacob, Danika, Hudson, Harper, Logan, Erik and Autumn; great-grandchildren, Blake, Huckson, Jett, Rayne and Charlotte; sisters, Eileen (William) MacPherson, Toronto, Ont.; Lorraine (Fraser) MacLeod, Trenton; brother, Dougald Gillis, East River St. Mary’s; many nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his wife, Carol (Brightman); sister, Sarah Fitzpatrick; brothers, Jim, George, Danny, Ronnie and Harvey; step-son, Derrick Brightman; grandson, Liam Chisholm.
A private service will be held in P. & K. MacDonald Funeral Home Chapel with Father Colin MacKinnon presiding. Interment will be in Hillside Cemetery.
If desired, donations may be made in memory of Ray to The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. (Please click on the underlined to donate online.)
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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at P & K MacDonald Funeral Home