Jerome L. Gillis

FALMOUTH – Jerome L. Gillis, 94, of Falmouth, passed away on Friday, March 13, 2020. Jerry was born on Jan. 27, 1926, in Brooklyn, N.Y., the only child of Harry and Bertha (Sohn) Gillis. After his mother died of cancer when he was 9 years old, he was raised by his grandparents in Chelsea, Mass. where he attended public schools, graduating from Chelsea High School. He enrolled at Dartmouth College in 1943 where he was in the V-12 training program for Naval officers, and he graduated from Dartmouth in 1947. He went on to receive his master’s degree in public health from Columbia University. He married the former Barbara Lunder in March 1952, and they remained married until her death in 1992. He was a hospital administrator in Newport, R.I. and Los Angeles, Calif. in the early years of their marriage, before relocating to the east coast to be near family. In 1959 he co-founded along with his father-in-law, Robert Lunder, and his brother-in-law, Leonard Lunder, the current Lunder Manufacturing in Saco, which continues to be operated by the family today. He commuted from Massachusetts until he moved his family to Portland where he and Barbara raised their three children. Until recently, he continued to work two mornings a week, and the business was a source of pride for him. Jerry is survived by his children, Susan Bisbing and her husband Spence of Cumberland Foreside, Kevin Gillis and his partner Susan McDevitt of Kennebunk, and Todd Gillis and his wife Debra of Cape Elizabeth; his five grandchildren, Jason Bisbing and Andrew Bisbing of Maine, Melissa Gillis Bilchik and her husband Steve of Sherman Oaks, Calif., Samantha Gillis Busenhart and her husband Michael of Edwards Colo., and Michael Gillis of Chicago, Ill.; and his two great-grandchildren who brought him special joy, Lily and Teddy Bilchik of California. He also leaves his cousin, Sandy Miller, and cousins Peter and Paula Lunder, and Burt Silberstein; as well as life long family friend, Joan Lisson.A funeral will be held at 1 p.m., Tuesday, March 17 at the Jewish Funeral Home/Levy Chapel, 471 Deering Ave., Portland with Rabbi Gary Berenson officiating. Burial will follow in Beth El Memorial Park, Portland. The family will receive family and friends at the home of Spence and Susan Bisbing, 2 Spruce Lane, Cumberland, from 3 to 8 p.m., following the services.Please visit www.jonesrichbarnes.com to leave a tribute in Jerry’s memory. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to theGosnell Memorial Hospice House11 Hunnewell Rd. Scarborough, ME 041074