William's Story

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"Bill"; August 22, 1931 to December 3, 2017. Bill was preceded in death by his loving wife, Betty Lou (Hartland) Gilles and son, Edward James Gilles. Survived by son, David and wife, Mary Anne (Cumberland, MD); son, Robert (Johnstown); daughter, Diane Brown and husband, Rex (Johnstown); and daughter, Mary Kesslak and husband, Chris (Johnstown). He was "Pap" or "Pappy" to grand children: Stacey (Gilles) Sheahan and husband, Luke (Somerset, PA); Erica Gilles (Morgantown, WV); Bethany Gilles (Cumberland, MD); Haley Kesslak (Johnstown, PA); Benjamin, Samuel and Megan Gilles; and one great grandson, John James Sheahan (Somerset, PA). His constant companion, Autumn, his beloved mini schnauzer, also survives him. Bill graduated from the old Adams Township High School where he was a four-sport letterman winning letters in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He earned 12 letters in his career. Upon graduation, Bill joined the Navy and stationed on the USS Kearsarage from 1952 to 1956. He served in the special forces and played baseball with the Navy all over the world. Bill was offered a tryout with the Chicago Cubs after his discharge but declined. Upon his discharge, Bill went to work for the Pennsylvania State Employment office helping people attain employment for over 25 years. Bill finished his career at the Conemaugh Generating Station in New Florence, PA. Upon retiring, he worked part time at Sportsman's in Johnstown. Bill was an avid sports fan. He was a lifelong Pittsburgh sports team enthusiast, most avidly for the Steelers, but he consistently followed the Pirates and the Penguins. Bill's love for sports translated into his personal life. Bill had a special talent for coaching baseball. He imparted his knowledge of baseball to others through coaching in the West Suburban Little League, coaching 10-12 year olds starting in 1968. His volunteer coaching career continued in the Johnstown Junior League where he managed the Hilltop Boys Baseball Club from 1975 to 1985. One of his most cherished moments in his coaching career was when he helped coach the 1978 Johnstown AAABA entry, the Richland Mall. Bill influenced the lives of many young people through coaching. All whom loved him and those he came in contact with will sadly miss Bill. Friends will be received from 2-4 and 6-8 Wednesday at John Henderson Co. Funeral Home, 215 Central Ave. Funeral Mass will be at 10:00 Thursday at Our Mother of Sorrow's Catholic Church. Father Mark Begley, officiating. Committal a Grandview Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Humane Society of Cambria or Somerset County. www.hendersonfuneralhome.com
Published on December 5, 2017
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