Charles Leonard Gillis, a lifelong resident of Burlington, passed away Friday, July 13, 2018 at the age of 87. Charlie was the son of Florence and Brad Skelton. He grew up in Burlington when it was just a small farming community with several thousand residents, before Route 128, and when the Burlington Mall was just a sand pit that kids swam at. He was a graduate of Burlington High School Class of 1950, where he met his future wife, Josephine. The graduating class then consisted of approximately 33 students. The school structure on Center Street now houses the town’s Human Services and Recreation Departments. It was a simpler way of life, everyone knew everyone in town, no street lights, and no traffic! He worked as a draftsman/engineer at High Voltage Engineering in Burlington and then Millipore in Bedford. In those days, there were no computers or Cad/Cam software; designs and illustrations were meticulously drawn by hand.
Charlie never felt the need to travel far from Burlington. He loved working on his home. He was extremely handy and could do carpentry, painting, wall papering, plumbing and any other project or repair that might be needed. He was always there to lend a helping hand and share his talents with friends, neighbors, and family members. During the winter months you could find Charlie with his snow blower going from house to house, helping out his neighbors. He was a curious and avid reader of history, local lore and nautical adventures. He was an excellent golfer and played in the Millipore Golf League for several years. He was a huge Red Sox and NE Patriots fan, almost never missing a televised game. He had a great circle of friends. Friday nights in the neighborhood was the designate night for everyone to get together for an evening of fun and relaxation. He enjoyed all types of competitive games, passing on this passion to his daughter. He loved all animals He could never say no when his wife brought home a stray that was in need of a home. He might have grown up an only child, but when he married into the Johnson family, he instantly had an abundance of family. Charlie had a blessed and happy life. He followed his interests, helped others, was grateful for all that he had, spent time with those he loved, enjoyed and was thankful that a life journey that started alone ended surrounded by many who loved him.
Charlie was the beloved husband of 67 years of Josephine (Johnson) Gillis. He was the loving father of Sandi Roberto & her husband Joseph of Groton. He was also survived by many brother and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends. Funeral services were private. Memorials in Charlie’s name may be made to the Billerica Cat Care Coalition, P.O. Box 141, Billerica, MA 01862 or www.billericacatcarecoalition.org. Arrangements by the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home.net. For obituary and online guestbook see www.sullivanfuneralhome.net