Welcome to the memorial page for

Cy Gillis

May 5, 1920 ~ February 20, 2017 (age 96)

William “Cy” Gillis, 96, of Forest City died Monday evening at the Forest City Nursing and Rehab Center. His loving wife of 61 years is the former Helen Romanczyk.

Born May 5, 1920 in Tomaqua, he was the son of the late William and Catherine Andrews Gillis. He was a member of Ascension Parish, a member of the Knights of Columbus and a 4th Degree Knight Council #1520, Carbondale. He was also an Army veteran having served with the 511 Army Parachute Infantry Regiment 11th Airborne Division. He participated in the occupation of Japan after the end of WWII.

Cy was a graduate of Pleasant Mount High School and the University of Scranton. He was a retired microbiologist and also received his certification as a Registered Medical Technologist (ASCP) from the Williamsport Hospital School of Medical Technology, which at that time was affiliated with Lycoming College. He did advance studies in microbiology at the Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA.

He was employed in the capacity of microbiologist for the Veterans Administration at Syracuse, Bath, and Castle Point, NY. He later transferred to the Department of Army where he was employed as Chief of Microbiology. While on the staff of Valley Forge he served as guest lecturer for career night at several high schools in the area. He participated in the Intensive Research Program of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. He presented papers in the field of Microbiology at seminars held by the Department of Army. Several of these papers were published in the Army Medical Journals.

While at Valley Forge, Cy was the recipient of the Department of Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his “achievements and in recognition of his extraordinary and noteworthy contributions to the field of microbiology.” Upon closing of Valley Forge Medical Center he transferred to Ft. Belvoir De Witt Army Hospital, where he served as Chief of Chemistry. His last position before retirement was at supervising position at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C.

He was a man of many interests and talents who traveled extensively with his wife. He was especially proud of his beautiful flower gardens and perfect lawn. He had a great interest in fishing and hunting. Cy especially loved to golf. He actively golfed at Memorial Links in the Red Schoolhouse Golf League until his 95th birthday. He was a former member of Elkview Country Club and a retired member of the Forest City Lions Club.

Cy was a great amateur photographer. During the late 1980's he received a top award in the summer snapshot contest sponsored by the Scranton Times. He went on to compete in the Kodak International Newspaper Snapshot Awards competition where his winning work went on display in New York, Boston, Detroit, Rochester and Pittsburgh. His exhibit was included in works of selected finalists from 181 newspapers from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Form the prizewinning photos, his entry was selected by Kodak to be used in their advertising brochures.

In addition to his wife, Cy is survived by his son Mark at home, a sister in law Anne Woodward, Greene, NY; nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, great great nieces and nephews, and a great great great nephew, and his beloved Westie's Alvin and Payge. He also leaves behind his extended family, the David Thomas family whom he loved dearly. Although he had no grandchildren, Seth, Ben, and Vincent Thomas were loved as his grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by an infant son Kevin Joseph, a sister Eleanor Biancone, and brothers Albert, Nick, Edward, and Rev. Leonard L. Gillis.

Special thanks is extended to the staff at the Forest City Personal Care, Forest City Nursing and Rehab Center, caregivers of America, and especially Dr. David Tomazic for their compassionate care.

Private funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are through the Kevin M. Lesjack Funeral Home, 513 Main Street, Forest City. 

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