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Alena ‘Lena’ (MacDonald) Gillis

Passed on: September 12th, 2017

Alena ‘Lena’ (MacDonald) Gillis, of Whycocomagh and Milton, Ontario, the widow of the late Ernest Gillis, died Tuesday, September 12, 2017 in Victoria County Memorial Hospital, Baddeck. In recent months, she had resided at MacLeod House, Baddeck where she had been very comfortable and well cared for.
Born, Susan Alena Catherine MacDonald in Stewartdale, the daughter of the late George and Catherine (MacDonald) MacDonald, and a descendant of the early settlers of the area – the “Kelly MacDonald’s.”
Prior to her marriage to Ernest Gillis, a Skye Glen native, Lena maintained the family home at Stewartdale and provided a home and much care for her late brothers, Roy and James, as well as several aunts and uncles through the years. The MacDonald home was a welcoming place for friends and relatives from many places.
With a far-reaching circle of friends and relatives who will mourn her loss, she is survived by her nieces and nephews, Diane and her husband Ken Austin of Florida, Elaine Wysong of Massachusetts, Joanne and her husband James Browning of New Hampshire, Brian MacDonald of California, and Rodney MacDonald and his wife Selena of New Hampshire, who are the children of her late brother, Alexander and his wife, Velda (Gillis). Also, nephews, Alan, Gary and Robert MacDonald, and their mother, Laura MacDonald of Ontario; family of Lena’s late brother, John Stewart MacDonald and niece, Florence MacDonald of Massachusetts, daughter of Lena’s late brother, James MacDonald.
Lena is also going to be sadly missed by her stepchildren in Ontario, Glen and Angela Gillis, Brad and Denise Gillis, Mike and Melinda Gillis, and Ann and her husband, John Cresei and their children and grandchildren, all of Ontario, and her sister-in-laws, Evelyn Gillis, Nellie Gillis of Skye Glen.
As well she leaves behind two first cousins, Christina (MacDonald) Campbell of Port Hawkesbury and Glennie (MacDonald) MacMillan of Sydney, many close relatives of the extensive MacDonald family in many places.
She was predeceased by her husband, Ernest Gillis; her parents, George and Catherine (MacDonald) MacDonald; her brothers, Alexander, John Stewart, James and Roy, and other close family members.
Lena was a well trusted and admired clerk for over forty years at the store of the late Garnet Smith of Orangedale. She was a life-long member of the MacLean Church, Stewartdale and its successor, Stewart United, Whycocomagh. She was a strong supporter of the fellowship and the work of the United Church of Canada. Her interest in genealogy and family history was strong and her memory very accurate and reliable.
Visitation will be Friday, September 15, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. in Dennis Haverstock Funeral Chapel, Whycocomagh. Funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, September 16 from Stewart United Church, Whycocomagh with Rev. Rachel Campbell officiating. Burial in Stewartdale Cemetery.
At Lena’s request, rather than flowers, contributions to the Stewart United Church in her memory are welcome.
Words of comfort may be forwarded to the family at: www.haverstocks.com.


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