Remembering Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy -- image from Star Trek.com
Leonard Nimoy — image from Star Trek.com

 

by Robert Gillis 2/2015

I am deeply saddened by the passing of Leonard Nimoy. The man from Boston who did so well for himself as an actor, poet, writer, director, photographer, has passed on. He was a role model and inspiration for so many.

Although not recently, I attended MANY Star Trek conventions in the 1980s and early 1990s and saw him speak twice. He was always a gentlemen, always graceful, always so engaging, so grateful, always had so much to say.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Remembering Tom Sawran, Foxboro Jaycee and so much more

2002-haunted-house-116by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 10/2013

Tom Sawran passed away last week, and if you’ve lived in Foxboro for any length of time you probably knew him. He was a paradox to be sure, but I liked Tom, and I respected him, and as a Jaycee mentor he taught me a lot.

While other tributes for Tom will likely come in from those who knew him best — his children, his family, his very closest confidants, I thought I would talk about the man from a Jaycee and Foxboro family perspective, and why his passing is a loss for us all in the chapter and the community at large.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

“Angels Are All Around You,” — remembering the kindness of Ewa Jedrychowska

Ewa Jedrychowski / Foxboro Reporter Photo

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper, 2/2012

“Angels are all around you.”

It’s maybe ten years ago, a beautiful Saturday morning and I’ve just left Saint Mary’s 9am mass.

There’s an absolutely lovely older woman standing there in front of the church, smiling at me, and she is telling me that angels are all around me.

And that morning, whether she knew it or not, I needed to hear it.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Eulogy for Bob Shea, our beloved friend

This is the eulogy that I wrote for Bob and read at his funeral.

How do you summarize and eulogize such a magnificent human being and a life so very, very well lived? How do you properly celebrate someone so extraordinary who not only gave, and gave, and gave, but more importantly — inspired others to do the same, all the while supporting a family and holding down numerous jobs?

No matter what gets written, and what gets spoken, it can’t measure up, or do justice to, the legacy of Bob “Papa” Shea.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Eileen Gustin and the Advent Wreath

by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter 12/2008 and 12/2005, and the Boston City Paper 12/2008

When I was a teenager, our friend Eileen Gustin worked at the information desk at nearby Saint Margaret’s Hospital on Cushing Avenue. Everyone liked her — she was like a wonderful aunt to all the neighborhood kids. She always had something good to say about everyone, and she was a person of very deep faith, with a strong love of God.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Remembering Dad


by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and the Boston City Paper 6/2007

Fathers Day, 2007.

I was 19 when Dad died after a long battle with cancer in 1984. Even then I knew 47 was not old, certainly not old enough to live a full life. Now I’m 43 — four years shy of Dad’s age at his death — and I understand far more clearly how young he really was. And I find as I approach that age, I miss him all the more.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

In loving memory of Mary Cicciu


by Robert Gillis; Foxboro Reporter December 2006

Mary Cicciu passed away November 10, and Foxboro has lost another of its rare gems.

I met Mary on Founders Day in 1995, at the senior’s tent on Booth playground, where her friends were celebrating her 84th birthday. I was immediately taken with her — she was special, and although I saw her infrequently, I just adored her.

Oh my Lord, what a feisty woman. She was short; very petite, but that small body held a fire and passion for life that people half her age have trouble finding.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

In loving memory of Father Clement L. Pelletier, SJ


by Robert Gillis
Published in the Boston City Paper July 2006

It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Father Clement L. Pelletier, SJ, on October 26, 2005. Father Pelletier served the B.C. High community for over forty years and was one of those men — one of those great priests, great human beings that I always remember so fondly.

For three of my four years at B.C. High, (it was Father Callahan in sophomore year), Father Pelletier was my French teacher.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

In loving memory of Father John Joseph Kierce

In loving memory of Father John Joseph Kierce,
pastor of Saint Kevin Church, Uphams Corner, Dorchester for 50 years

by Robert Gillis
published in the Foxboro Reporter, 3/2006 and the Boston City Paper 6/2006

Without exception, every priest I have ever met — every single priest I have ever met in my entire life — has been an inspiration, a role model, and a good person doing a difficult, sometimes Herculean job.

I have laughed with many of them, and I cried with more than a few.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Remembering Pope John Paul II

Pope John-Paul II in 1979. CNN.com image
Pope John-Paul II in 1979. CNN.com image

by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter 4/2005 and the Boston City Paper 4/2007

The legacy of Pope John Paul II will be chronicled, celebrated, debated, cherished, pondered, analyzed, and remembered for many years to come. He has been pope for all but 13 years of my life, and I miss him. Although I am relieved his suffering his ended, I grieve at his passing.

It’s been very hard to watch the Holy Father fail over the last few years.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Just one more precious life going up in smoke

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 8/2001

It was a hot July Sunday— a very hot day. I was at the gas station when a kid came in and asked for cigarettes. He didn’t have an ID, so the clerk refused him.

Such a good law.

A hot July Sunday. Just like the day Dad died. He died from smoking.

Even after all the warnings about cigarette smoking, he continued to smoke.

It’s hard, 17 years after his death, to not be mad at Dad because of how he died.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Easter 2001 and Remembering Stan and Lorraine

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 4/2001

Easter is here again. Christians throughout the world celebrate the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the promise of life after death. It’s a time of joy.

And despite the ever-changing weather and the threat of still more snow, spring is finally here as well. The trees are starting to bud, the sun is warmer and the afternoons are longer. All around us is the promise of summer, better days and (hopefully) no more snow.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

A loss too deep for words: Remembering Lorraine and Stanley Garland


by Robert Gillis
Originally published in The Foxboro Reporter December 2000

One week and a day after Lorraine and Stanley Garland died, Foxboro and the surrounding area got hit with a violent Nor’Easter, and most of the town lost electric power for a few hours.

Driving through the dark streets that Sunday night, the hurricane-force wind and rain blasting my car, I thought about what a metaphor it was for what has happened to us — the light was gone.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Remembering John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr.

Time Magazine Cover commemorating passing of JFK Jr., copyright TIME magazine
Time Magazine Cover commemorating passing of JFK Jr., copyright TIME magazine

by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter July 1999

I was born just over a year after JFK’s assassination, so my memory of the man is only through history – and my father. Dad was a very devoted fan of JFK, and I remember finding him, on more than one occasion, listening to speeches JFK had made, or reading volumes about the slain president.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Remarkable Man, Remarkable Life, Remembering Gerry Rodman

Jerry Rodman, photo from www.geni.com
Jerry Rodman, photo from www.geni.com

by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter March 1999

He was one of the most generous people any of us will ever meet. More than one person has referred to him as one of Foxboro’s “Guardian angels,” and that’s exactly what he was.

Jerry Rodman is gone, and this town will never be the same. We’ve all lost a friend.

I recall the Senior Center vote at the town meeting two years ago, and after its passage, there was Jerry shaking people’s hands and saying, “Good vote!

Click here to read the rest of this post!