John and Ruth Gillis–John has pastored Grace Brethren churches in a number of locations–recently were highlighted for their 50th wedding anniversary in the Alaska Star newspaper. Here is an excerpt:
Former Eagle River residents John and Ruth Gillis celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary June 11. They were married June 11, 1955, at the Grace Brethren Church of North Long Beach, Calif.
They have three children: Erin Kathleen Kelley of Eagle River, Eldred John Gillis III of Yucaipa, Calif., and Kelly Maureen Whitacre of Winchester, Va. They also have eight grandchildren: Caleb, Luke, Nancy, and Katie Kelley, Eldred John IV and James Gillis, and Julia Mae and Gregg Whitacre.
The Gillis’ lived in Eagle River for 17 years before retiring and moving to Grove Hill, Ala. John Gillis had served as pastor at Greatland Grace Brethren Church in Anchorage and Ruth was secretary at the Federal Bureau of Investigation prior to retirement.
Friends and family throughout the United States submitted pictures and reminiscences for their anniversary album. There was a celebration at Friendship Baptist Church in Vineland, Ala., where Pastor Gillis is serving as interim pastor.
This article published in The Alaska Star on Thursday, June 16, 2005.