Obituary of Suzanne B. (Giraud) Gillis

Suzanne B. (Giraud) Gillis - of Woburn, Friday June 9th. Beloved wife of the late John A. Gillis. Devoted mother of John D. Gillis, and Sara of Framingham, Roland Gillis and Donna of Lynnfield, Francis X. Gillis of GA, Mark D. Gillis and Wenxin Huang-Gillis of WA, Mary S. Randall and Kim of ID, and Jacqueline M. Gillis and Marc Zimmerman of Hudson. Beloved sister of the late Gilbert, Xavier, and Michel Giraud. Dear sister in-law of the late Josephine Gillis, Christine Roberts, and Jesse Kelly. Cherished grandmother of Michael J. Gillis, Alison A. MacNeil, Kevin J. Gillis, Nicole G. Silva, Kathleen G. Tenney, Brett and Eric Randall, and Julie Gillis. Suzanne is also survived by 9 great-grandchildren and many loving nieces and nephews. A Funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn on Friday, June 16th, at 11 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn at 12 p.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to call at the Funeral Home, Thursday, June 15, 4-7 p.m. Interment in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Suzanne's memory to Smile Train, PO Box 96231, Washington, D.C. 20090-6231.

OBITUARY

Suzanne B. (Giraud) Gillis, a long-time Woburn resident, passed away at the Beaumont Center at Westborough on Friday, June 9th. The beloved wife of the late John A. Gillis, she was one hundred and four years old. Born in 1913 and raised in Marseilles, France, she was the daughter of the late Gilbert and Germaine (Maurin) Giraud. Her father was an attachť at the French Embassy in Indochina. After his service in Indochina, the family moved to San Francisco where he worked in the French Consulate. The family lived there until 1926, when they returned to France. When Suzanne graduated from school, she went straight to work as an English teacher. She held this position for six years while working on both her Bachelorís and a Masterís Degrees in English.

While teaching English on the island of Corsica for three years during World War II, she also became a Scout leader. When she returned to France, she continued teaching and leading the Scouts. In 1944, Allied bombing began in Marseilles and the schools were shut down in her district. Because she was fluent in English, she became involved with an American agency assisting American troops in adjusting to living in France. She was sitting in the agency office when John Gillis, an American soldier, walked in asking for assistance. That was the beginning of a relationship that spanned the next four decades. They were married in France in 1946. Shortly after they married, they set sail for America where they made their home, settling in Woburn, Johnís home town. Together, they brought six wonderful children into the world. Both Suzanne and John were strong advocates of education and saw her children receive bachelorís and masterís degrees.

An avid tennis player, Suzanne played six days a week and was actively involved in Tennis 128 doubles, mixed matches, and singles competitions. She received many Revere Bowls for her tennis play. She enjoyed taking long walks, gardening, reading mysteries, biographies, and poetry. She was also an accomplished seamstress.

Suzanne was a devoted woman of faith. Her relationship with her God brought her to be a vibrant member of the St. Charles Parish Community, serving as a Eucharistic Minister and being involved in many Parish events. Visiting the elderly, sick or those who were homebound, she would bring communion, and chat for a while. Every year, at the St. Charles Church Christmas Bazaar, she had a crafts and baked goods table which always sold out; she donated all the proceeds to the church. She also taught French at St. Charles High School.

In addition to her husband, John, and her parents, Suzanne was also predeceased by her brothers, Gilbert, Xavier, and Michel Giraud. She was the sister-in-law of the late Josephine Gillis, Christine Roberts, and Jesse Kelly. She is survived by her children, John D. Gillis and his wife Sara of Framingham, Roland Gillis and his wife Donna of Lynnfield, Francis X. Gillis of GA, Mark D. Gillis and his wife Wenxin Huang-Gillis of WA, Mary S. Randall and her husband Kim of ID, Jacqueline M. Gillis and her husband Marc Zimmerman of Hudson, and her grandchildren, Michael J. Gillis, Alison A. MacNeil, Kevin J. Gillis, Nicole G. Silva, Kathleen G. Tenney, Brett and Eric Randall, and Julie Gillis. Suzanne is also survived by 8 great-grandchildren and many loving nieces and nephews.

A Funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn on Friday, June 16th, at 11 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn at 12 p.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to call at the Funeral Home, Thursday, June 15, 4-7 p.m. Interment in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Suzanne's memory to Smile Train, PO Box 96231, Washington, D.C. 20090-6231.