June Ann Gillis, 86, passed away at Unity Hospice Sunday, December 12, 2021, surrounded by her loving family following a stroke. She was born June 11, 1935, the third of the four children of Reuben and Margaret (Huemphner) Skoglind. June began dating James “Jim” Gillis in 1950, at the age of 15. Too young to go on car dates, Jim would give her rides on the handlebars of his bicycle. The two married on September 29, 1956, and the union was blessed with three sons. She took great pride in her role as wife, mother, grandmother and homemaker.
After graduating from St. Joseph Academy in 1954, June worked in nursing until her first son was born. After the boys were old enough, she learned to drive, and transitioned back into healthcare at the Beaumont Clinic, later at Prevea. She enjoyed the many friendships she made while working.
June was a longtime member of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, and donated her time and talents at the grade school and as a volunteer with the parish. From the Cathedral Birthday Club to the Fall Bazaar, to cooking for the homeless, or lifting someone up in prayer on the prayer chain, June was always eager to lend a hand. She was devoted to the Blessed Mother and participated in Tuesday Rosary services.
Most of June’s free time revolved around family. She and her husband enjoyed visiting family in Minnesota, and while there, betting on the ponies at Canterbury Park. The two also liked to try their luck at the casino and take a trip to Simonet’s cottage for celebrations. June liked sitting on her deck and admiring her gardening skills. She celebrated Christmas with a birthday cake for baby Jesus, enjoyed a cup of chili from Kroll’s and made delicious brownies that she generously shared, but saved her signature, handed down, homemade chocolate sauce to herself by telling the boys it was rat poison.
Her memory will be celebrated by her three sons, Joe (Cheryl Heiland), Jeff (Jill) and Jamie (Ginger); four grandchildren, Joey, Michael, Megan and Brittan; a great-grandchild, Liliana; a sister, Elaine Simonet; and sisters-in-law, Judy (Stan) Noel and Joanne Martin; nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 64 years, Jim; her parents; a sister, Doris Shimek and a brother, Jack Skoglind.
Visitation will be held from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Saturday at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, 140 S. Monroe Ave. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the Cathedral with Fr. Brian Belongia officiating. Burial will be in Allouez Catholic Cemetery. Proko-Wall Funeral Home is assisting the family. To send online condolences please visit www.prokowall.com. A memorial fund has been established to benefit Cathedral Parish.