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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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