Joseph Leo Gillis, April 4, 1952 – August 30, 2021
Joseph “Joe” Gillis passed unexpectedly at his residence in Newton, MA. He was the first son of the six children born to Dr. Joseph L. Gillis and Eileen Fleming Gillis. He is survived by his mother, Eileen Fleming Gillis formerly of Milton, MA, and currently of Naples, FL, and his siblings, Kathy Sayre of Farmington, CT, Julie Dutcher of Beverly, MA, Michael Gillis of Westwood, MA, and Brian Gillis of Naples, FL, along with his beloved nieces and nephews, Tom, Jamie and Julie Anna Sayre, Kathleen and Stephen Dutcher, Michaela, Erin and Daniel Gillis, and Brian, Kaitleen and Liam Gillis. He was predeceased by his father, Dr. Joseph Leo Gillis, and his brother, Daniel E. Gillis.
Joe grew up in West Roxbury, MA and then Milton, MA. He attended Thayer Academy where he was a standout athlete on the football and baseball teams and was a key player on the 1968 undefeated football team being inducted into the Thayer Academy Hall of Fame. He truly excelled, however, as a hockey player being named captain both his junior and senior year and graduating as the all-time leading scorer in the school’s history. Joe then attended a post-graduate year at The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, CT, before matriculating at Boston College where he continued his hockey career as well as majoring in finance in the business school. Upon graduation, Joe embarked on a successful career in sales at John Hancock and then numerous other notable companies before his retirement. After retirement, Joe split his time between Naples, FL, where he loved to spend winters and fishing, and his residence in Newton, MA. Throughout his career and retirement, he enjoyed returning to Boston College for the football and hockey games, but most of all, he enjoyed time with his family, particularly his nieces and nephews who brought him the greatest joys in his life. He always was, and remained, an avid Boston sports fan, and particularly a hockey fan.
Visitation is on Monday, September 6, 2021, at Eaton Funeral Home, 1351 Highland Avenue, Needham, from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Joseph Church, 1360 Highland Ave, Needham, on Tuesday, September 7th, at 10:00 a.m. Interment will take place following Mass at the Milton Cemetery, Milton, MA.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in memory of Joseph Gillis to Thayer Academy, 745 Washington Street, Braintree, MA. 02184.