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Ronald E. Gillette

Born: Sun., Jul. 16, 1933
Died: Fri., May 22, 2015


3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Wed., May 27, 2015
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Thu., May 28, 2015
Location: Kopler - Williams Funeral Home

Memorial Service

11:00 AM Thu., May 28, 2015
Location: Kopler - Williams Funeral Home

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Fillmore --- Ronald E. “Ike” Gillette of Fillmore died Friday, May 22, 2015, at Olean General Hospital. He was born on July 16, 1933, in the Genesee Country Hospital in Fillmore, (better remembered as the Fillmore Hospital), a son of the late Robert E. and Mabel Maxson Gillette.  On December 23, 1959, in the Fillmore Methodist Church, he married Nancy L. George, who survives.  

He was a member of the class of 1951 of Fillmore Central School.  After graduation, he served in the United States Air Force from 1951 to 1955.  While stationed in Korea during the Korean War, he served as a forward air controller in the 6147th Tactical Group.

Upon completion of his military service, Ike worked at Acme Electric Company in Cuba and Watson Elevator in Warsaw.  He attended Geneseo State Teachers College from 1958 to 1962, graduating with degrees in elementary education and junior high Social Studies.  He spent 32 years teaching fifth grade at his alma mater, Fillmore Central School.  In addition to his classroom teaching career, he devoted 31 years to coaching Junior High and JV basketball at Fillmore Central.

Ike was one of the original coaches of the newly formed Fillmore Little League, coaching the Cardinals for about 7 years.  He was also an Amateur (Ham) Radio Operator; his call sign was WB2SCO.  He was an active golfer and enjoyed playing in several golf leagues.

Ike and Nancy participated in the first program to track the migration of Monarch butterflies.  One of their butterflies, raised and released in Fillmore, was recovered in Ruston, Louisiana.   They spent more than 50 years raising, tagging, and releasing Monarchs.  Thousands of students in Fillmore Central gathered caterpillars and milkweed and shared the wonder of this miracle of nature.

Surviving in addition to his wife are their two sons, Gary (Cathy) Gillette of Harpers Ferry, WV, and Gregory (Barb) Gillette of Lake View; 2 grandsons, Alexander and Matthew, of Harpers Ferry, WV; two sisters, Lois (Lowell) Fancher of Fillmore, and Althea Bentley of Sevierville, TN; and many nieces and nephews. 

Family and friends may gather from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 and from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at the Kopler-Williams Funeral Home, 21 North Genesee Street, Fillmore, where a memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Joel Stroud, Pastor of the Hume Baptist Church, will officiate. Burial will be in Alger Cemetery.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

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Condolence Booklet

Jim and Sharon Mitchell and Family
   Posted Sat May 23, 2015
Will miss Ike and our one of a kind talks in passing by one another. We sure had some good ones and many smiles and jokes. May Ike rest in peace . Sending our condolences to the whole family. Peace be with all of U.

Cindy Hatch Yeager
   Posted Sat May 23, 2015
Mr. Gillette was a one of a kind teacher. I remember 5th grade fondly. Most most vivid memories are of the monarch butterflies and the "air raid" practices! Both Mr. and Mrs. Gillette were my favorite teachers, having Mrs. Gillette as my 3rd grade teacher. Boy, I lucked out!!! Love to the family at this time and RIP Mr. Gillette!!!

penny Burdick
   Posted Sat May 23, 2015
So sorry for your loss. Great teacher will be missed!!

Richard/Lee Yanda
   Posted Sun May 24, 2015
Ike made teaching Fifth Grade one of the highlights of Lee's career. He was always there for any need and most caring. Richard enjoyed working with him in school and on the Credit Union Board. May God bless his family with comfort in knowing that they were fortunate to have him and now he will be at peace and watching over them.

Bruce Brenneman
   Posted Sun May 24, 2015
Kathie and I are saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend. Kathie enjoyed teaching 5th grade at Fillmore with Ike and sharing experiences. I always enjoyed Ike's wry sense of humor and his common sense - and those summers we worked with the custodial staff at FCS. We send our sympathy and love to Nancy, Gary and Greg. May God surround you with his love, peace, and comfort.

Ty Wolfer
   Posted Sun May 24, 2015
My Sincerest condolences, I am greatly saddened to hear of Ike's passing. What a great teacher and role model. He touched so many lives not the least of which was mine.

Angela Van Wey
   Posted Mon May 25, 2015
I remember Mr Gillette fondly from my time in his classroom. I was so fortunate to have him for a teacher! My biggest regret is never having met him as an adult. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends...

Randy Crouch
   Posted Mon May 25, 2015
Mrs. Gillette (and Gary and Greg)-
As a teacher and coach, Mr. Gillette had a profound impact on me. So much of what I aspire to be in those roles I learned from him. In recent years it made me so proud to walk off the floor after coaching JV games at FCS and look up to see him congratulating me and telling me good job. I also enjoyed sitting with him after games and sharing stories and strategies. I can only hope I impact some of the students in FCS in the same way he (as well as you Mrs. Gillette) impacted me. Such a tremendous loss!

My sincerest condolences to all of you-
Randy Crouch

Charlotte and Jim Banish
   Posted Mon May 25, 2015
To the entire Gillette family....
We were so very saddened to learn of Mr. Gillette's passing. He was really a genuinely kind man! I enjoyed the talks we would have at school, or at the Market Basket, or on the corner in town, he was really funny, and my husband would always enjoy talking "ham radio" with him.
It is always hard to loose someone you love so much....you were both so kind to us when our son Joe died.... we really appreciated your kindness!
We will surely miss his presence around town! May he rest in Peace in the arms of our Heavenly Father....finally home!
Jim and Charlotte Banish

Adam Howell
   Posted Tue May 26, 2015


May the peace which comes from the memories of love shared comfort you now and in the days ahead. - Adam & Roni Howell

Raymond Richardson
   Posted Tue May 26, 2015
He was a great teacher, who made learning fun. Will always remember the butterflies, the football follies & Laurel & Hardy films he brought in on special occasions, and model airplanes. R.I.P. Ike.

Philip G. Stockin
   Posted Tue May 26, 2015
Though I never had the privilege of being one of Ike's students, I did benefit from having him as a coach in Little League. Ike's coaching personality was a perfect match for this little guy. Our friendship over the years was most cordial and encouraging. I will miss him. My sincere sympathies and prayers are extended to and for Ike's family. May God provide just what each of you need day by day in the weeks to come.

Fred & Vernelle Shannon
   Posted Wed May 27, 2015
As the days and weeks have passed, during the last two years, we have watched and listened to our two very close and wonderful friends in their daily struggles. Nancy, we've admired the strength and courage that you and Ike have shown. For the last 30 or more years you were always there in our times of need or for special times of celebration. We will truly miss Ike and his wonderful sense of humor. Thank you once again for your friendship. May the Lord's richest blessings be with you Nancy and the family at this time of loss.

Erica Murphy
   Posted Wed May 27, 2015
Mr. Gillette, I'm sure touched the hearts of many as can be seen in the heartfelt words written about him and to you as the family. I am deeply sorry for your loss, and for the worlds loss of such an amazing and caring person. Revelation 21:3,4 speaks of a future time when sickness and even death will be done away with. I hope this promise brings you hope and comfort.

Willis/Elizabeth Beardsley
   Posted Wed May 27, 2015
Our Dear Nancy and family, Willis and I are so grateful for all the experiences we have had over the yrs. with you. I am reflecting especially on my special time in his classroom as his student teacher, and his encouraging Mr. Beardsley to ask me 'out'... which he did. The rest is history. We were so glad he could be in our wedding party in 1971, after Gary's birth, and before Greg's arrival.
What great neighbors and friends you were, even providing our first Christmas tree ornaments! You both were exceptional teachers, and we were so glad our own children could have the 'Gillette experience' at FCS. Willis has his own set of memories, far more than I. We pray for peace now.

Nancy Walters
   Posted Wed May 27, 2015
Dear Nancy and family...I am so sorry for the loss you're experiencing. Ike was such a good man. I have many fond memories of him as a teacher and friend. I always enjoyed chatting with you and Ike about what was going on at school or in the community. Many of our conversations were even about basketball! Please know that my love, thoughts and prayers are with you.

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