Cletus J. Gillis
Cletus J. Gillis
  • February 27, 1928 - March 5, 2014
  • Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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Cletus J. Gillis, age 86, died Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at Rennes Health Rehab Center surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Green Bay, WI to Albert and Lillian Gillis on February 27 1928. He went to Central Catholic High School and graduated in 1946. Cletus married the love of his life, Evelyn A. (Hakes) Gillis on June 24, 1950. They were married for 64 years. He worked as a Meter Technician for Wisconsin Public Service for 24 years. During this time he also owned and operated "Gillis Sharpening Service" which he continued well into his retirement.

He enjoyed music especially Jazz. He taught the art of playing the accordion, along with all string instruments. Being a professional Musician and considered one of the best piano accordion players of the Midwest. He also owned and operated his own music store in Green Bay, "Fox Music Studios". Another passion was his love of woodworking, which he shared and taught 4-H members. Anyone who knew Cletus has seen some of his talents. All members of his family have been blessed with his wood creations in their homes. Many pieces of his woodworking's can be seen throughout St. Joes Catholic Church. He donated many of his wood creations to the church for their Bazaars and Fish Fry's. Cletus was very involved with his church and an active member of the Knights of Columbus.

He is survived by his loving wife Evie, sons David (Peggy) of Escanaba MI, Steven (Barb) of Ypsilanti MI, Daniel (Jodi) Gillis of Rhinelander, daughters Paulette (Jack) Cooper of Wheat Ridge CO, Denise (Jack) Chariton of Rhinelander, Michelle (Randy) Beard of Rhinelander, He has been blessed with 15 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild, his brothers Norbert and Rev. Ralph Gillis, and a sister Sr. Marian Gillis. He is further survived by nieces, nephews, and other family and friends.

Cletus is preceded in death by his parents, sister Mildred Steffel, and sister-in-law Mary (Denissen) Gillis.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, March 14, 2014 at 11:30 A.M. at Nativity of Our Lord ~ St. Mary's site with Father Tom Thakadipuram officiating. Entombment will be at Northland Mausoleum. Visitation will be 10 A.M. until time of service. A memorial has been established in Cletus' name and may be directed to his family. Hildebrand Russ Funeral Home, 715-365-4343 is assisting the family with arrangements. All are invited to light a candle or leave a condolence at