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Gene A. Gillette

April 28, 1941 — November 26, 2022

Gene A. Gillette

Gene Arnel Gillette, of Bay City, died on November 26, 2022 at Brian's House Hospice following a six-year brave and determined battle with cancer. Gene was born on April 28, 1941 to Donald and Marjorie (Brown) Gillette in Bay City, and was raised in Standish, MI.
Gene lived a life full of adventure, accomplishment, and love. He graduated from Arenac Central High School, now Standish-Sterling, in 1959, the first year that the consolidation of Standish and Sterling took place. He then earned a BA from Michigan State University School of Communication in Speech Therapy, a MA from Central Michigan University in Educational Administration, and a EdD in Educational Administration from the University of Sarasota, FL.
Gene began his professional career working for Coca Cola Company and Warner Lambert Pharmaceutical Company, until he realized that his true calling was in education. He was Speech Therapist for Bay Arenac Intermediate District, service primarily in the northern areas of the district. He then began a 30-year career in Whittemore Prescott Schools, a beloved and respected elementary and high school principal.
Gene's life was full of fun as he and his wife Judith Walker Gillette raised their five children in a home, he built both literally and figuratively in Standish. On land carved out of the woods, they raised miniature horses, taking them to horse shows in various states.
Gene was active in the community's Rifle River Players, giving notable and extraordinary performances in musical theater, including "Shere's Charlie?", "Bye, Bye Birdie", and "Lil' Abner".
Gene and Judith moved to Bay City, MI in 1996 and enjoyed renovating and restoring a 100-year-old home, which was featured in several autumn Historic Society Tour of Homes. In recent years, they moved to beautiful Cortland Farms.
Gene made a mark in Bay City, as he became actively involved in many community projects. He could be seen repairing and repainting the historic signage along the Rail Trail, service as President of Bay City in Bloom, giving informative and enjoyable tours of the city's historic districts with the Bay County Historic Museum, and entertaining the tourists and citizens alike on the Princess Wenonah tours down the Saginaw River. He thoroughly enjoyed entertaining with the Bay City Players' Recyclables. Gene authored several books, particularly a book on the history of coal mining in Bay City, and another entitled, "What to See and Do in Bay City!" He learned to play concert worthy ukulele in several classes at SVSU's OLLI program and was very proud of being a share holder in the Green Bay Packers!
Gene and Judith traveled the United States with five kids in tow in a camper, as Gene's goal was to introduce them to every state in the union. Later they enjoyed international travel in Europe, Jamaica, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. He sought and found fascination and education in every destination!
Gene is survived by his wife, Judith; Children, Sheryl (John) McKinnon, of Ft. Wayne, IN; Dean Gillette of Shipshewana, IN; Julie (Mark) Ziegler, of Bettendorf, IA; Joel (Kelli) Gray, of Carrollton, GA; and Brooke (Chuck) Jerasa, of Dallas, TX and Jackson Hole, WY.
He took great pride in his six grandchildren, Alexandrea (Craig) Hanba, of Park Ridge, IL; Jill (Dustin) Forker, of Bettendorf, IA; Travis (Cheyenne) Ziegler, of Davenport, IA; Taylor Gray, of Nashville, TN; Morgan Gray, of University of Mississippi; and Logan McKinnon, of University of Indiana.
Great Grandchildren, Ethan Forker, Evan Forker, Adrienne Forker, Owen Hanba, Franklin Ziegler, and Eleanor Ziegler will miss their fun loving and affectionate Gr!
Gene's brother Donald R. (Mary Ellen) Gillette, of Tampa, FL; and sister, Carol (John) Carlson, of Venice, FL survive him, as well as sister-in-law K Walker, of Payson, AZ, along with special life long friends, Le and HJ Smith of Midland, MI.
Gene was predeceased by his father and mother, Donald and Marjorie Gillette, and his father and mother-in-law, Rev. E DeVer and Eleanor Walker.
The Gillette family would like to extend their appreciation to Dr. Jonathan Abramson, KARMANOS Cancer Center; Dr. Glenn Kershen, Tri City Urology, Dr. Robert Lee, and Dr. Jeffrey Potts, of Total Family Healthcare for their extraordinary and compassionate care.
A Family Celebration of Gene's Life will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made in memory of Gene A. Gillette to the McLaren Bay Medical Foundation (designation to Cancer Care) 1900 Columbus Avenue, Bay City, MI 48708.
Gone from our sight, Gene will always remain in our hearts!
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gene A. Gillette, please visit our flower store.

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