WARREN, Ohio – John D. “Gunner” Gillen, 84, passed away peacefully after a short and courageous battle with cancer surrounded by his family Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at his home.
He was born November 5, 1932, in Warren, Ohio the son of the late Peter and Sarah Gillen.
He was a 1950 graduate of Warren St. Mary’s High School where he lettered in football. He attended Carroll College in Montana where he played football for two years and transferred to Youngstown State University where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. He also obtained his Master’s in Education from Westminster College.
He taught for 57 years, starting at St. Mary’s High School and continuing at John F. Kennedy High School where he coached a variety of sports and was also the Athletic Director for the past 47 years. His dedication and love of his school was valued by many as he was inducted in the Trumbull County Hall of Fame, Warren Sports Hall of Fame, the John F. Kennedy Hall of Fame and in 2012 was honored to have the gymnasium at JFK to be named The Gillen Gymnasium.
John served in U.S. Army as a Medic in Korea.
He had a strong Faith and was a lifelong member of St. Mary’s Church in Warren where he also served as an Usher.
John is survived by his wife, Gloria whom he married July 31, 1965; four children, John Gillen of Streetsboro, Annie (Tom) Needs of Helena, Montana, Brian Gillen of Greenville, North Carolina and James (Jaime) Gillen of Austintown and four grandchildren, Matthew, Ian and Maggie Needs and Ivan Gillen.
He is preceded in death by his parents; a son, Thomas Joseph Gillen and a brother, Charles Gillen.
Family and friends may call Tuesday, April 25 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon at St. Mary’s Church 232 Seneca St. NE, Warren, Ohio 44481.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday, April 25 at Noon at the church with Rev. Bernard Schmalzried officiating.
Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Warren.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in John’s name to the John F. Kennedy Athletic Department, 2550 Central Parkway, Warren, Ohio 44484 or St. Mary’s Church 232 Seneca St. NE, Warren, Ohio 44481.
Arrangements are being handled by the Peter Rossi & Son Memorial Chapel 1884 North Rd. NE, Warren, Ohio 44483. Family and friends may visit www.peterrossiandsonfh.com to sign the guest book and send condolences to the Gillen family.
A television tribute will air April 21 at the following approximate times:
12:25 p.m. WKBN, 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV and 10:37 p.m. FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.