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Farming Rural 04


Merritt Gale Gillilland Jr.

October 23, 1942 ~ June 13, 2019 (age 76)

Merritt Gale Gillilland Jr. of Eaton Rapids,

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, passed away June 13, 2019 at the age of 76. Gale was born in Lansing, MI, October 23, 1942, the son of Merritt and Edith Eva Gillilland. After graduating from Michigan State University, he taught math and science for the Lansing School District, primarily at Everett High School for over 25 years. During those years, he also designed and built the family home in Eaton Rapids which he shared with his wife of 53 years, Mary Jo, and his children. Gale was a quiet natured man who loved his family above all else. He was the family “fix-it” guy whenever a pipe broke or a room needed to be added to a house. Gale loved using his skills to solve problems, especially if it involved wood and nails! Special thanks go to his daughter, Deanna, and granddaughter, Brittany for the loving and tender hands-on care he received during the final month of his earthly life.

Gale is survived by his wife, Mary Jo; daughters, Deanna (Rus) Halsey of Eaton Rapids, Nancy (Tom) Goehl of Mackinaw, IL; sons, Richard (Samantha) Gillilland of Eaton Rapids, Merritt (Carolyn) Gillilland of Ann Arbor; grandchildren, Brittany (Gavin) Ruehle, Ryan, Lydia, Collin and Harper Gillilland, all of Eaton Rapids; Brennan, Connor and Liam Gillilland of Ann Arbor, Andrew Halsey of Eaton Rapids, and Andy Goehl of IL; great grandchildren, Cole Gillilland, Marley and Lennon Ruehle and Alice Nieves; brother, James Louis (Janee) Gillilland and many special nieces and nephews; 7 sisters-in-law; 5 brothers-in-law. A big family to be sure, but one filled with love and respect for all that Gale did for everyone.

A Funeral Mass will be 11 am Tuesday June 18, 2019 at St. Peter Catholic Church, 515 E. Knight St. Eaton Rapids. Visitation will be held at the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel on Monday from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm and at the church one hour prior to Mass. Those desiring may make memorial contributions to St. Vincent Home for Children in honor of Gale. Please visit our website to place online condolences or to sign the guest book,

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