It is with great sadness that we, the family, announce the peaceful passing of our dear mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, Mary Eileen Gillis of Sydney, on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.
Born on August 13, 1926, Eileen was the daughter of the late Patrick and Anne (MacIsaac) Connolly.
Eileen is survived by sister, Barbara Matheson, Ottawa; brother, Fr. Owen Connolly, Halifax; children, David, June (Don) Cashen, Anne Marie (Francis) McCarthy, Dorothy MacDonald, Kitchener, Margie, Joe (Trish), Grand Prairie, AB, Barbara ‘Becky’ (Arthur) MacDonald, Peter (Rebecca), Blaise (Rose) and Paul (Kim), Hammonds Plains; 25 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and their families.
Besides her parents, Eileen was predeceased by her husband, Patrick W. ‘Paddy’ Gillis; children, Claire Wall, Stephen and Allan Gillis; daughter-in-law, Charlotte Gillis; son-in-law, Charlie MacDonald; sisters, Louise Whitehead, Portland, Maine, Anne Culligan, Dartmouth and Kaye Connolly; brothers, John (Leah) Dennis (Mary) and Pat (Bette); brothers-in-law, Larry Whitehead, Ray Matheson, Joe Culligan, Robert and Danny Gillis; as well as sisters-in-law, Kaye Wall (Mike), Margaret ‘Peggy’ Rudderham (Gordon), Mae (Ned) Clark, Anne Frobese (Ernie) and Theresa Gillis.
Mom was an extraordinary woman who was steadfast in faith and concern for the wellbeing of others by always showing great generosity to all. Mom’s heart and door were always open in welcoming friends and strangers to her table. Mom was a member of the former St. Gerard’s Guild and was a 60-year member of the CWL. Besides caring for the needs of 13 children, mom was a business partner and accountant for P.W. Gillis Transfer. She completed a PCW course and worked for a short time for Nightingale Nursing Service.
Mom was a talented pianist who provided our family and friends with countless hours of musical pleasure. She was incredibly welcoming as a hostess for family gatherings both in our home in the Pier and at the family bungalow in Big Pond. We are most grateful for her kindness and care for all.
We would also like to thank her family physician, Dr. Steve Mac Dougall and staff for his kindness and care throughout her years. Mom received exceptional care from the staffs at both the Dominion Guest Home and in her final days at the MacGillivray Guest home, in Sydney.
Mom, we will miss your presence in our lives. So long until we meet again. Rest in peace!
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Eileen may be made to Hospice Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton.
Visitation for the late Mary Eileen Gillis will be held at Pier Community Funeral Home, 1092 Victoria Rd. (entrance on Church St.) Whitney Pier on Thursday, October 7, 2021, from 5-9 p.m. Funeral Mass will be celebrated in Holy Redeemer Church, Whitney Pier on Friday, October 8, 2021, at 10 a.m. with Fr. Owen Connolly officiating. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Big Pond. Covid Protocols will be followed at the Mass and Masks are still obligatory.
Link to view service is as follows.
Funeral for Mary Eileen Gillis.MOV – pCloud
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care and direction of Pier Community Funeral Home.
My deepest condolences to the Gillis and Connolly Families. Eileen was a kind, devout, sweet lady who welcomed all into her home. I spent many a day in her home in the Pier growing up. Rest in peace sweet lady.
From: Judy Walsh
To The Gillis Family
So sorry to hear of your Mother passing she was a great Lady My prayers & thoughts are with you May God Bless you all
From: Ada Hagen
My sincere condolences to the Gillis family. Your loss is felt by many.
From: Joe Black
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time
From: Shirley Taylor and Claude Ramsay
Our sincere condolences to all the family. May all your happy memories help you at this difficult time. from Alex & Arabelle
From: Arabelle Fougere
Our deepest condolences to all the family. Cliff and Renie Surette
From: Irene Surette
Anne-Marie, I am very sorry to hear of your mom’s passing, Thinking you at this most difficult time. I had the pleasure of doing her hair for many years ay the Mac Gillivary Guest Home. She was a kind thoughtful lovely lady, and will certainly missed by everyone whose life she touched. May her beautiful memories sustain you and your family during this difficult time.
From: Donna Radtke
my deepest condolences to Eileen’s family .May she rest in peace and sing. with the angels.
From: Stephanie (Melnick) Black
Our sincere condolences to the entire Gillis family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time. We have so many fond memories of Big Pond and I am sure they will be a great comfort to you all.
From: John and Clare Walker
My deepest sympathy to all the family of Eileen. I am so happy to have met Eileen at the DCGH. It was nice to know her. I will miss our chats, listening to the classic country music with her, playing cards ( Crazy Eights) and she usually won, playing her keyboard after some encouragement and sing along together to some songs. I thought she was pretty amazing for her age. Thinking of you all. God bless.
From: Florence Hopkins
June: I was very here sorry to hear of the passing of your Mom. I heard many, many Nanny Gillis stories from Lynn when we were together. She was clearly a lovely lady, a true family matriarch and heaven’s newest addition to the choir. You and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers. Much love 💜 From: Frances Cody
Very sorry to read of the passing of your beloved Mother. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. She will always be in your hearts. From: Blair & Norma McDonald
Dear Dave, June, Ann Marie and all family, we extend our heartfelt condolences to you all at this difficult time. You are blessed with great memories of your Mom and loved one. She was a strong, caring, kind lady dedicated to her family. Your great memories are a treasure. God Bless. Sincerely, Ed & Doreen Tynski ❤ From: Ed & Doreen Tynski
Our deepest sympathy on the passing of your Mom. She was a lovely lady. May all your happy memories of her sustain you during the difficult days ahead.
Harold and Irene Antle
Dave and family, we are deeply saddened by the loss of your mother. We know how close and devoted you were. Please take comfort in the many happy memories you have. Thinking of you with deepest sympathy. Donna and Nick Rutherford.
My condolences to Eileen’s family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
David sorry to read of your Mom’s passing this morning, I only knew her through our conversations over the years & Robbie’s kind words of her. Your Mom was so loved by her family & she is with you every day.
Dorothy, Dave and family
Very sorry to read of your mom’s passing. Our thoughts are with you.
Kevin Charles, Colleen, Rachel and Jack.
Margie and Gillis Family: We extend our sincerest sympathy to you on this sad occasion. The loss of a parent is very difficult no matter what age. May she be welcomed into her eternal home by the warm embrace of God.
Dear Dave, Anne Marie & Margie,
Sincere condolences on the loss of your much loved mother. She was clearly a multi-talented, generous, caring lady. Cherish your many wonderful memories.
To the Family of Eileen Gillis,
My heartfelt condolences to all of you during this difficult time of loss.
Eileen and I were friends for over 70+ years. Our friendship began during the weekly women’s club which lasted for many years. I have so many wonderful memories of Eileen.
You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Mary Pierrynowski, Cove Guest Home, Sydney, NS
My sincere condolences.
Love and prayers
JOE and Patricia and family: Sending our condolences to all at this trying time your in our thoughts . Tara Peter Manley and girls
I was saddened to learn of Eileen’s passing having known her for many years. I clearly recall being with Barbara (then Connolly), my great friend, while babysitting Eileen’s four eldest children. From that day on, we all felt Eileen invented time as she never allowed her very busy schedule to interfere with her thoughtfulness and sense of humour.
To one and all, my deepest sympathy and every blessing.
We are so sorry for your loss .may she rest in peace
The Healey family is sending you our deepest condolences on the passing of your mom. She was such a kind and caring person. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
To Dave and the Family:
Sorry to hear of the passing your your mom.
Blaise, Sincere condolences on the loss of your mother.
Please accept our condolences on the passing of Mrs. Gillis. May she rest in peace.
Susie MacArthur & Arthur MacKinnon
To the Gillis Family:
Our condolences on the passing of you Mom!!
God bless her soul and may she rest in peace with
perpetual light shining upon her in heaven!!
Sorry for your loss.
Our thoughts are with you.
Peter and Gillis Family,
We are very sorry to learn of the passing of your Mother. Our sincere condolences to you and your family. May she rest in peace.
Matty and Joanie MacDougall
I am so sorry for your loss. A great lady who I have many fond memories of catching up at various extended Connolly events. My love and prayers are with you all. – Maureen Connolly (Mike’s daughter)
God Bless all of you during this difficult time.I have many beautiful memories of Eileen that I cherish in my heart as she was my second Mom when I was in nurses training. I will especially remember all of the good food& many talks around the big kitchen table& songs in the room around the piano..Her hugs& warmth & twinkle in her eyes made everything seem possible. My thoughts& prayers are with all of you at this time.
We are very sorry to hear of the passing of Eileen. She was close to us all and we will never forget such a wonderful person and the positive mark she has made with us. May she RIP ( We’re gonna miss you ) 🙁
Tom & Staff
We extend our sincere condolences to the Gillis clan. Big Pond was enriched with Eileen in the summer community. Your mom’s love and generous spirit will live on. Hold many beautiful memories in your hearts. RIP Eileen.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this very sad and difficult time. RIP Eileen
So sorry to hear of Eileen’s passing, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs
Dave and Family,
Our condolences on the passing of your Mom. Prayers and blessings to you and your family.
Ed and Doreen
Dear Dave, Dorothy, Anne Marie, June, Fr. Owen and all members of the Gillis family: Please accept our deepest condolences on dear Eileen’s passing. She was such a nice and kind person and always spoke so highly of all of her family members. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.
Rita (MacDonald) and family
Dear Dave, Margie, Anne Marie and family members. I am very sorry for this profound loss of your mother. Eileen was always smiling and cared so much about others. May the many memories help you cope at this difficult time. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Dianne MacAskill
Dear AnneMarie,Dave and families, so sorry for the loss of your mother. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Lorne and Louise
My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this very sad time. Eileen was always so supportive and happy to see you and have a chat whenever we met. My condolences to all her family.
Heartfelt Sympathy to all of the Gillis family. Don , June, Tom and Lynn please know that you are all being sent hugs and love during this difficult time. X0
My dear friend Anne Marie and the entire Gillis family
Our deepest condolences on the loss of your sweet wonderful mother. She was truly a kind caring lady. Growing up I spent many hours in her home….always so welcomed. I will always have those wonderful memories. Heaven has gained another Angel. Rest In Peace Nanny Gillis.
Dear June and family. Oh how my heart broke to hear this news. I know how much your mom meant to you, her family, friends and entire community. Losing a parent is not easy, you all certainly have supported myself and family through our loss. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Carol and Mark
June ,thinking of you and yours at this time❤️
Mom & I would like to pass on our sincere condolences to the Gillis Family. We have lots of great memories from our summers in Big Pond. The wonderful memories you all hold in your hearts wil help you through this difficult time……..hugs & prayers!! 🙏🏻❤️