With broken hearts we announce the passing of our beloved mother Patricia (Pat) Thérèse Gillis (née Picot) on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at The Moncton Hospital.
Mom was born on May 4, 1931 in Edmundston, NB to Dr. Ernest and Blanche (LeBel) Picot. Her parents, both educators, instilled deep faith, grace, style and a life-long love of learning.
Our mother leaves a legacy of a large and caring family. She was the loving and supportive mom and mother-in-law to us seven children "The Originals" and our spouses, her "other seven": Diane (Eric) Prosser; Donnie (Kathy) Gillis; Danny (Timmie) Gillis; Kathie (Paul) Blomsma; Patti (Stevie) Trites; Michael (Janet) Gillis, all of Moncton, and Peter (Trina) Gillis (Mom’s baby and her often-declared favourite) of Leduc, Alberta.
Fourteen grandchildren, "The Fantastics": Derek Prosser; Jeff (Mariel) Prosser; Audrey (Matt) Cochrane; Laura (Brady) Frost; William Gillis; Jessica (Luc) Doiron; Jimmy Gillis (Manon Boudreau); Kristi (Tyler) Hughes; Andrew (Sarah) Trites; Ben Trites; Jordan (Samantha) Gillis; Tommy Gillis (Gillian Vlasschaert); Katie Gillis (Calder Agnew) and Shanna Gillis (Logan Beecraft).
Mom was known as "GG" to her fourteen great-grandchildren, "The Greats": Marissa and Madeline Prosser; Molly, Ruby and Jack Cochrane; James and Mary Frost; Karson Klimpel, Liam and Jace Gillis; Hailey (our dear angel in heaven), Emmy and Hazel Hughes; and Arlo Gillis.
Mom is also survived by her beloved sisters Jeannine Cochrane and Claudette (Don Lehman) Picot; her cherished in-laws Ralph and Alice-Marie Gillis; Carol Picot and Patsy Burton. Also left to mourn are her treasured Picot cousins; her much-loved nieces and nephews: Louise, David, Claire, Nicole, André, Tim, Rob, David, Leslie, Bobby, Chris, Ross, Jamie and their families; as well as many friends.
After retirement Mom enjoyed twenty-five years of fun and friendship as a founding member of "The 21 Club" comprised of co-workers from her 21-year secretarial career with School District 15. She looked forward to The 21 Club’s monthly meetings and valued beyond measure the love and friendship of each member. Mom is survived by the remaining club members, her dear friends, Debbie Wallace and Sharon Crossman.
Mom worked tirelessly to support our family. She endured life’s many challenges with faith, grace and unconditional love. She attended St. Bernard’s Church.
Mom had many talents including sewing, knitting, decorating and gardening to name a mere few. She was a wonderful home-maker, cook and baker. She loved music and played piano beautifully. She was an amateur radio operator with call sign VE1PAT. Her interests included politics, genealogy, technology, world news and all activities, projects or careers any one of us became involved in. Mom was our "numero uno" fan from horse shows to drag racing and everything in between. She loved our annual GGO (Gillis Girls Only) weekends as much as she loved hanging out with her boys. She was strong, adventurous, spunky and fun.
Somehow our dear mother survived the antics of us seven as teenagers with our gang of Harrisville friends. The new young mothers in our family are completely amazed at this feat….and they don’t even know half the stories.
At age 86 Mom declared one morning that she would like to buy herself a car. A few hours later she was the proud owner of a brand new little red sports car with a turbo engine and mag wheels. We could not have been happier for her.
Mom loved to travel. In her mid-fifties she spent two years living in Tanzania, East Africa. While there she taught French to young students, gave sewing lessons and studied Swahili. She was especially happy to have visited Jersey Island, the ancestral home of the Picot family. More recently she enjoyed road trips to the shore or to the nearest ice-cream stand.
Mom loved nothing better than a family gathering. There was absolutely no more wonderful news for Mom to receive than that of an expected addition to our family – whether by marriage or birth. Just hours before her passing Mom was gifted with the announcement of the upcoming birth of her 15th great-grandchild in September.
Mom also loved her Harrisville home of 55 years and her most recent home at Autumn Lee. We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Wanda and her staff of devoted care-givers at Autumn Lee Retirement Home, Moncton, who provided a safe and supportive home for Mom these last few years.
As well we would like to offer our sincere gratitude to Dr. Brittany Colpitts and Dr. Manon Belliveau, the nurses and staff at The Moncton Hospital, 4600 Ward, for their professional and compassionate care of Mom during her short stay. You are, without a doubt, angels here on earth.
We would also like to thank our many extended family members, friends, neighbours and co-workers who often asked about Mom and showered her with kindness over the years.
In addition to her parents Mom was predeceased by our Dad, William (Bill), her husband of 65 years; great-granddaughter Hailey Hughes; brother Dr. Jules Picot; mother and father-in-law James and Mary Gillis; and in-laws Dr. Robert and Janice Gillis; Elizabeth Gillis; Bill Cochrane and niece Joanne Renton.
Due to the pandemic there will be no visitation or public funeral service. We invite you to join us from the safety of your home to view a live-stream of the funeral liturgy to be held on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 3:00 pm.
Please click on the following link: vimeo.com
A committal service and a celebration of life will be held when travel restrictions are lifted and we can once again gather safely. Details to be announced.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Fergusons Funeral Home, 1657 Mountain Road, Moncton (506-858-1995).
If so desired, donations to the Lakeside Cemetery (c/o 175 Weisner Road, Lakeville, West. Co., NB E1H 1L5), or a charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family. Online condolences may be shared at www.fergusonsfuneralhome.com.
Mom will be laid to eternal rest at Lakeside Cemetery just down the road from where she lived the majority of her life. She will be interred alongside Dad where her heart has been since his passing in 2016.
Mom was truly the rock of our family. Her life was full of large numbers but those numbers do not compare to the number of wonderful memories we have or the number of tears shed at her passing.