Gentleman Gene Made His Final Lap on Feb 1 2021

by Placerville Newswire / Feb 09, 2021 / comments

[Mary Gillihan]

Willard Eugene Gillihan

Devoted family man and friend. Committed to the community. Heart of Gold. Kind Patriarch. Servant. Generous. Joyful. Mischievous. Fun-loving.

He was known as: Dad, Papa, Gilly, Gentleman Gene, Gene and is a legend in our eyes. He had a heart of a servant and he gave freely - help, time, support, and endless hugs and kisses. His light shone bright and warm long after parting. You could feel his joy for life! His jolly nature and "Muttley" laugh were contagious.

He loved the Lord and considered it his mission to serve those around him with unceasing grace and faithfulness.

In 2012 at the age of 73, he was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). That didn't stop Dad! He still made family his top priority and acts of service his mission. 2015 brought a wake-up call requiring his first extended hospital stay and triple bi-pass. Still, he was a mover and shaker and resumed his role as community caregiver as soon as possible (likely earlier than advised). His stubborn determination kept him working while walking through oncology and cardiology appointments. In the midst of the crazy events of 2020, one of his medical team members advised "Go and be with your family". So we planned an epic trip! A party of 10 covered 14 states, 17 days, 7 State Parks and 4,709 miles. A carpe diem trip that, upon reflection, is far more precious than expected. He loved that time together, surrounded by those he loved most.

He loved that time together, surrounded by those he loved most.

Merely days after our dream adventure, his health started to decline in August. His complexities with artery issues and chemotherapy were the beginning. Next he was hit with double pneumonia on an already battered immune system due to to CLL. Then a positive test for the dreaded COVID-19 at Christmas time came next. He did seem to recover somewhat, but still the pneumonia affected his spirit and physical health. He was a warrior! Occasionally, the mind is stronger than the body and we are grieved this was the case with him.

We were able to see him before he left this Earth for Heaven. The world lost a beautiful light on February 1, 2021. We know he is watching over us now, never to be in pain again.

His legacy lives on in all who knew him, especially his wife, three children and nine grandchildren.

We are reaching out now as a result of months of hospitalizations, costly medications, and end of life expenses.  If you have any beautiful stories to share or wish to donate, we would be grateful beyond measure. All donations will go directly toward the expenses listed and managed by Mary Gillihan, his honey of 54+ years. If you prefer to pay respects through mail, reach out to us for the address.

At this time, services are yet to be scheduled. We do plan to have a celebration worthy of his boisterous life later this year. Thank you for reflecting his goodness outward.  We hope and pray you continue to pay his kindness forward. 

Lots of Love XOXOXO,

Mary, Chad, Gina, Buffee, Danielle, Nicole, Amber, Erin, James, Alyssa, Christian, Bridgette, Cayleigh, Catherine, Chris, Daryl, & Sawyer

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