Obituary: William Gillian Jr. – Portland Press Herald
SCARBOROUGH – Portland native William Gillian Jr., 81, passed away peacefully at Gosnell Hospice House in Scarborough on November 15, 2021.
He was born on September 27, 1940 in Portland to William Gilllian Sr. and Ruth Collins Gillian. He attended Deering and Cheverus High Schools and graduated in 1958.
Bill and Sheila McIntyre married in 1959 and moved to Boston where they started a family. He worked full time and took courses at Boston University (BU). After returning to Portland in 1964, he co-founded the Southern Maine Typewriter Company with his father. They then sold the business and he became one of the top sellers for unique clothing companies such as Playtex, Hang Ten Sportswear, and Aspen Skiwear.
Bill was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Elks Club and Toastmasters International.
He enjoyed playing sports and coached the Little League and Babe Ruth baseball teams. He has always been a fan of the Boston Red Sox and competed in the 1975 and 1986 World Series. Also a fan of the New England Patriots, he attended Super Bowl XXXIX and was delighted to see Tom Brady win again.
Bill was the life of the party and had an unforgettable laugh. Passionate about the outdoors, he loved hunting, fishing and snowmobiling and had remarkable stories. On one occasion, while showing his young children how to feed a wild black bear in Maine, he lost a finger. Fortunately, he was attached to a local hospital. On another sunny day, while fishing with friends off Cape Elizabeth, they encountered 25-foot swells from the remnants of Hurricane Felix. The boat capsized in the waves and crashed into the rocks. They eventually ran aground on the uninhabited island of Richmond. Saved by the US Coast Guard, all hands survived. He later said it was “the luckiest fishing day of my life”.
As a longtime resident of Cape Elizabeth, he became passionate about gardening. He was a seasoned bird watcher and fed the many species that stopped near his cottage along the Atlantic Flyway.
He was predeceased by his parents; sister, Dona Kinney and brother, Richard Gillian.
William is survived by his daughter, Carolyn Gillian (partner Richard Wallace), his son, William III; granddaughters Stefanie Scala and Angela Mallis all of Portland; his sister, Lisa Poisson of Raymond; and many nieces and nephews; and great-nieces and nephews.
His family is eternally grateful to the staff at Falmouth by the Sea for the care they provided over the last years of their life.
A remembrance rally will be held at the Maine Irish Heritage Center, St. Dominic Church, 34 Gray St., Portland on Sunday, December 5, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
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