Thomas Gillis

Thomas R. Gillis

Friday, November 14th, 1952 - Tuesday, March 30th, 2021
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HALFMOON Thomas R. Gillis, 68 lost his year long battle with Pancreatic Cancer early Tuesday morning, March 30th. He never asked why me, he fought valiantly and never complained about the extreme pain he was in. Tom was born in Argyle and grew up in Lansingburgh.

In 1976, Tom began a long running 32 year career in the CATV industry. Starting out as an installer at NewChannels, he made many friends and worked his way up to a supervisory position through positive leadership- always treating people the way he would want to be treated. In addition to his civilian job, at the young age of 17, Tom proudly embarked upon a 27 year military career. Tom first served in the USMC during the Vietnam War as a radio operator in a Re-con Unit. After a short break from the military, Tom felt strongly the desire to serve his country again. The remainder of his military career was spent in the Air National Guard where he served several deployments supporting the US Antarctic Program, security in NYC following 9/11, Border Patrol in New Mexico, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009 and most recently, prior to his retirement in 2011, he was activated to aid in the recovery effort following tropical storm Irene. Tom was a true patriot and although he enjoyed his time serving with the ANG, he always made it known “Once a Marine, always a Marine.”

Tom was a long time member of the VFW Post #1498 in Halfmoon where he had served as commander. Up until recently he was a member of the Saratoga National cemetery Honor Guard Wednesday squad. Tom was a communicant of St. Mary of the Assumption church in Waterford.

Tom had a love of reading and it was rare to see him without a book in his hand. He had a great knowledge of History and anything Military. He loved music and when quizzed he always knew the year a song was released and who the artist was. Tom enjoyed being outdoors, especially his time spent in the Adirondacks. He was an avid hunter for many years and also enjoyed fishing.

He leaves behind his wife of over 44 years Claudette (Chouinard) , his two children that he was so proud of, Taylor (Jona) and Amber (David Cost); He was Poppie to his three grandchildren, Brenyn and Cayden Cost and Beau Gillis.

No flowers, please. Tom did ask that if you choose to make a memorial donation in his name, it be made to Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (SARRTP) at the Stratton VA Medical center. This program helps veterans who are struggling with alcohol and substance abuse. Checks should be made out to “Stratton VAMC” with Tom’s name and SARRTP on the memo line and will be handled through the Funeral Home.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday April 6th at 7 pm at Philip J. Brendese Funeral Home, 133 Broad St. (Rte.32), Waterford.

Relatives and friends may visit the funeral home on Tuesday, April 6th from 4-7 pm prior to the service.

Masks will be required, social distancing and occupancy protocol will be observed.

Interment will be at a later date at Saratoga National Cemetery.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Philip J. Brendese Funeral Home
    133 Broad Street (Rte. 32)
    WATERFORD, NY 12188
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 | 7:00pm
    Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 7:00pm
    Philip J. Brendese Funeral Home
    133 Broad Street
    WATERFORD, NY 12188
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Reverend Michael Crandall
  • Interment

    Gerald BH Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery
    200 Duell Rd
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


  • Air National Guard
  • Crucifix
  • Expert Pistol Medal
  • Good Conduct Medal
  • Maine Good Conduct Award
  • US Marine Corps
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Roman Catholic Church
  • US Air Force
  • Vietnam Service Medal


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Posted at 09:24am
CLAUDETTE truly sorry to read about toms passing. i wish i had a chance to see him again after talking with you at pennys. i will always remember the great times we had at newchannels. i remember tom and i reading the kent family chronicle paperbacks at the same time. if you need anything in the future please contact me. 518 268 8131.


Posted at 02:16pm
Mr. Gillis was always so sweet and kind. I will miss him dearly. All my love to Claudette, Taylor and Amber and the rest of the family. He certainly left quite a legacy. Rest Easy, Tom.

Lots of love,
Sharese, Chris & kids

Carm Caliguire

Posted at 03:00pm
Claudette and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I am a friend of the Brendese family and I have been praying for Tom. Take comfort in your wonderful memories. May he Rest In Peace.

Jim Duff

Posted at 09:51am
he was a good friend back in our BURG years and we spent many an hour together, like other things we drifter apart but was in my thoughts when the burg came up. So sorry for your loss. I was lucky to find colon cancer at 52 . You are in my prayers
Jim Duff

John Pradelski

Posted at 09:33am
To the Gillis family. Your Husband, Father, and Grandfather was a heck of a guy. Tom worked with me and for me at Stratton ANGB. He was always there with either a helping hand or a laugh. He was a great asset to our Visual Information shop and would handle any job without a complaint. We also shared our faith and our USMC heritage proudly. He will be missed but he will be in a better place now serving his Lord. Semper Fi Gillie.

John & Mary Pradelski

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