Howard Clinton Gillis, Sr. was born April 1, 1937, in Wake County, North Carolina. He passed away surrounded by his treasured family at home Friday, May 15, in Stockton. 

He was born to Theodore and Lillian Imogene Gillis.

Howard was incredibly hard working and started selling popcorn at age 11 to help support his large family. He had an amazing work ethic and a wicked sense of humor, pranking his co-workers at several tool shops in the Kansas City area. He retired from GM Delco Remy in 1999 and attained his dream of living at Stockton Lake.

Howard served his country in both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines. He retired from the U.S. Navy Reserves in 1996. He and his bride Faye had many adventures in Hawaii during these years.

He also belonged to the American Legion for 36 years, and enjoyed a long membership with the 54 Cruisers Car Club. He loved restoring cars and trucks and drove in the Black Walnut Festival Parade often. He was a member of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, Stockton.

Howard’s greatest joy was his family. He was so proud of his children, grandkids and great-grandkids. He always was happy to educate and train his family and friends, and he knew a little bit of everything. He was incredibly intelligent and earned degrees throughout his life. He encouraged education in any form to all and he and Faye also helped send family to college.

He married the love of his life, Faye Wood, in 1962. They raised four children together — and they also enjoyed raising Cain! 

They have lifelong friends and are the glue that has held both the Gillis and Wood family together.

He is survived by his wife Faye, of the home; son, Clint Gillis and wife Tammy; son, Dwayne Gillis and wife Dana; daughter, Jaren Gillis-Lowe and husband Ben; and daughter, Kim Gillis White and husband Matt. He also is survived by sisters Jan Laing and husband Joe, and Joyce Mapel and husband Bob; and brothers, Jack Gillis and wife Janet, and David Gillis. He also is survived by many beloved grandkids and great-grandkids.

Howard is preceded in death by his mother and father; sisters, Shirley Carmody and Patricia Wood.

Funeral arrangements will be made at a later, safer date. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the American Cancer Association.

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