Clifford F. “Cliff” Gillis, 92, of Port Charlotte, Fla., formerly of Green Bay Wis., went home to be with the Lord Sunday, May 11, 2014.
He was born May 21, 1921, in Luxemburg, Wis., to Frank and Beulah Gillis.
Cliff proudly says “I watched the Packers practice on our High School Ball Field.” He was a lifetime fan of theirs. Cliff was born again when he heard a tape by Father Bertilucci, a born again and Holy Spirit baptized priest, share truth as he told a love story that everyone needs to hear. Then he began hearing others who read their Bibles share their own personal stories of how the Lord Jesus revealed his love for them as they opened their hearts to Him, believing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Cliff served four years in the U.S. Navy during World War II on the U.S. Witchita, a heavy cruiser. He also set up a typewriter repair shop for the Navy. Upon discharge, Cliff entered the field of service of office machines and continued in that field for over 37 years. Each one of his five children were born in different states, as with each managerial position he had to move with the upgrade. Cliff retired in 1983 while Director of International Final Audit for overseas operations out of Cortland, N.Y. For many years he also served in God’s army as a President and later field representative for Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship Int’l. During that time Cliff was called to start the Chapter’s Prison Ministry at the Correctional Institution in Auburn, N.Y. He really enjoyed living on top of the hill in McGraw, N.Y., after his retirement, where he had his first dog and helped his wife, Alice, raise cats, turkeys, rabbits, learned bee keeping and had a big garden and did some good hunting up there.
Cliff and his family have been so thankful God’s hand was upon him, keeping him safe during an attack in the service. Then in civilian life during his career that required much traveling he missed three fatal plane crashes that he already had tickets for. He changed his plans within hours of their flight. “He gives his angels charge over us.” Just before his retirement, cancer was discovered in his prostate and already into his bones that were breaking. Prayer of family, friends, church and FGBMFI were answered. One Sunday night in church he got up and thanked people for their prayers and asked them to now stop praying for his healing. Instead, he asked them to thank God for the healing taking place, and it was all uphill after that. He and Alice had another 28 years of marriage to enjoy family and serving the Lord.
Because of health problems in the family, in 1995 he and his wife, father-in-law, Lynn McNitt and two adopted young children they had from foster care, all moved to Port Charlotte.
Cliff is survived by his wife, Alice; adopted children, Nichole Gillis of Florida and Jamie Wilcox of Oklahoma; daughters, Maureen Crawford of Colorado, Darlene Jackson of New Jersey, Charlene Atkins of South Carolina and Arlene Eckert of New Jersey; step-children, Cynthia Gitz of Pennsylvania and Richard Brown of Ohio; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and brother Winfred Gillis. He was preceded in death by his son, Roger, age 41.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 15, 2014, at Faithlife Church in Port Charlotte. Inurnment will be at Mt Hope Cemetery in Norwich, N.Y., with their stone reading “Great is thy faithfulness” with praying hands.
Arrangements are by Larry Taylor Funeral and Cremation Services.