After a long illness beloved husband and father, David Michael Gillian, 61, passed away in comfort and peace on August 20, 2011 at Hubbard Hospice House in Charleston, WV. A lifelong resident of the Mountain State, Mike was born in Charleston on September 4, 1949, grew up in St. Albans, and resided in Cross Lanes during his adult life, spending summers and vacations at Sandstone on the New River.
Following graduation from St. Albans High School in 1967, Mike attended Concord College in Athens, WV, where he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and met his future wife, Judy.
Mike found his lifework as a carpenter and owner of a small construction company involved in all trades for commercial and residential construction. He was an honest estimator, energetic worker and inspiring boss, willing to take on demanding jobs for the challenge of learning new skills and the satisfaction of providing good work at fair cost.
Highlawn Baptist in St. Albans was his church home as he grew up and Mike remained strong in faith, committed to doing the right thing as he knew it from an early age. Highlawn Baptist was also the place where his Boy Scout activities began, developing in Mike a strong character, practical skills, and a love of outdoor adventure.
After family and work, Mike loved pushing himself in many sports including racquetball, swimming, running, bicycling, kayaking, and flying ultralight planes. Most of all, Mike will be remembered as a fast and fearless enduro and dual-sport rider whose strenth, endurance, and amazing wins and wrecks provided endless tales, most of them true. A lifelong history enthusiast and voracious reader, Mike also experienced the richness of life through books, whether involving the past or present, fiction or fact, learning or entertainment.
Mike Gillian lived fully and purposefully; the indelible lessons he conveyed include determination and energy, happiness and wicked humor, courage and optimism, strenth and gentleness; lotalty and contentment, intelligence and faith, love and time freely given.
Mike is survived by his wife of forty years, Judy Rhule Gillian; son and daughter-in-law, Gregory Michael and Krista Evans Gillian of Bountiful, UT; daughter and son-in-law, Sarah Elizabeth and Gregory Carlton of Cary, NC; grandchildren, Owen and Ella Gillian; sisters, Lisa (John) Simmons of Sandyville, WV; Emily (Erick) Boles and Amy Gillian Jarrett of St. Albans, WV; brother, Matthew (Jill) Gillian of Hohenwald, TN; nieces, Chelsea Simmons, Erica and Elyse Boles, Melissa Jarrett, Jennifer Anders Giseburt, Liz Rhule, and Kelslie McKuhen; nephews, Timothy Simmons, TJ Jarrett, Brad Gillian-Thompson, Geoff Gillian, Justin Gillian, and Wesley Coiner; brother-in-law Tom (Judy) Rhule of Charleston, WV; sisters-in-law, Donna (Matt) McKuhen of North Charleston, SC and Pamela (Aaron) Abend of Buffalo, WV; paternal aunt, Remona (Alva) McMillion and cousins Joe, Paul, and Kay; paternal uncles, Brooke (Jeanie) Gillian and cousins Brad and Melody, and Tom (Anne) Gillian and cousins, Teresa, Cheri and Rebecca; maternal uncles, Joseph Mudd, Andy Mudd, and David Mudd and their spouses and children.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Oliver Jack and Elizabeth M. Gillian; sister, Julie Ann Gillian; paternal grandparents, Clyde and Anna Gillian; and maternal grandparents, Owen (Ardis) Meehling and Garnet (Clarence) Mudd.
As he requested, Mike was cremated and funeral service will not be held; instead, family and friends gathered on August 20, at Someday Farm, his home in Cross Lanes to celebrate and give thanks for Mike’s life. His ashes will be interred at a later date in the Richmond Cemetery at Sandstone, WV. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that Mike’s memory be honored through volunteering at or donations to Kanawha Hospice Care, American Diabetes Association, Center for Organ Recovery and Education, or Kanawha Charleston Humane Association or a local animal rescue organization.
The family would like to express special thanks for help, friendship, prayers and support throughout Mike’s illness to friend and family physician Richard Hayes and wife, Lora; to Jeri Lynn Maynard and Tina Nutter from Kanawha Valley Senior Services; to Carla Zielinske, Peggy Davis and other nurses, nursing assistants, respite providers, and social workers from Kanawha Hospice Care and Hubbard House; to those who visited Mike at home and at Hubbard House; and to dear friends Doc and Lora Harless, Larry Layne, Kevin Thomas, and others too numerous to mention.