It is with a saddened heart that we share the news of the unexpected
passing of our beloved Scoutmaster, Mr. Fran Gillis. He passed away in
his sleep while traveling in Canada.
Further information regarding a Memorial Service in Atlanta will be
communicated as it is available.
Mr. Jason Sutton will be acting Scoutmaster and all Troop 629 activities
will continue. If you have any questions or concerns regarding Troop
629, please contact either the Troop Committee Chair - Mary Beth
Bierbaum, Acting Scoutmaster - Jason Sutton, or Troop Advancement Chair
- Kathleen Narayanan.
Our next Troop Meeting will be next Monday, July 30, 2018 at 7:15pm -
8:45pm in the FLC - our summer meeting location.
Resources for the boys and their families have been made available as
listed on the right side of this page, in addition to the attached
“Guide to Helping Teens with Traumatic Grief.”
Mr. Gillis will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of
working with him in the Boy Scouting program. He began his affiliation
with the Boys Scouts in 1962 as a Scout in Massachusetts. He went on to
dedicate almost fifty years of his life as an adult volunteer to the
scouting program not only in the United States but also abroad during
his career in the U.S. Army. Mr. Gillis joined our Troop as an advisor
in 1998 and became our Scoutmaster in 1999. He lived a life of service
and will be truly missed.
The picture above is from our December 20, 2010 Troop meeting
which featured a wonderful commemoration for Mr. Gillis' contributions
to our Troop and community. 34 past Eagle Scouts visited and Fran
was presented with a special book containing pictures and letters from
the hundreds of lives he has touched.
Mr. Gillis penned this thank you note in his January 2011
Scoutmaster's Minute. As with all wisdom, it applies today, as ever:
Wow what an end of the year meeting with some of the
past and present scouts and families of Troop 629. Yes, I was totally
surprised with the event and the notes and album full of fond memories.
A really special time with extra memories documented for years to come.
Many thanks to you all! At picture time, the stage was full of something
marvelous. Day in and day out, the newspapers and TVs blare the doom and
gloom of society. On that stage, I saw the future and its going to be
just great. So many goals and visions being realized with a positive
power that shows we have not lost our way with so many great young men
yet to hit the world stage and forge our future with values, compassion,
sympathy, leadership and enthusiasm.
You could just feel the energy and great things to come. My small part,
over those years we shared, was to add my two cents in keeping them
focused on their future and their personal potential to unleash in
whatever endeavor they took on as each and every one was special in
their own way. Letting me share their life along those formative years
was rewarding in itself but to see the future beginning to grow is truly
amazing. So many there and yet so many more out there still on their
individual paths. It is just memorable to see and hear about all the
personal accomplishments. If I could have captured that feeling that
night in jar, I would never have anyone not be able to understand the
power of the program in the lives of those who get involved and push to
succeed. Of course, they had many other influences along the way from
parents, family, school, church and other organizations but I do believe
the scouting program was the thread for so many of those years that
brought all those talents out and molded the young men into greater
spheres than otherwise may have been.
--Fran Gillis, Scoutmaster