Thomas Reed Gillan

October 2, 1936 ~ March 29, 2019 (age 82)

     Thomas Reed Gillan fully surrendered to his battle with cancer on Friday, March 29, 2019 and went home to be with the Lord. Tom passed on peacefully at his home in Denton, Maryland surrounded and tenderly cared for by his friends and family and his beloved dog Sammi.

     Tom was born on October 2, 1936 in Chicago Illinois to Ray and Harriet Gillan. Tom was baptized into the Christian Faith when he was 14 years old on March 12, 1950 at the Edison Park Evangelical and Reformed Church in Chicago Illinois. He graduated in 1954 from Howard Taft High School, in Edison, Illinois. On August 30, 1958 Tom married Barbara J. McVay his surviving Bride of 60 years. In 1958 Tom received a Bachelor of Arts from Grinnell College and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Forestry. From April through June of 1961 Tom served on active duty as a Radio Relay and Carrier Operator and was subsequently released from active duty to the Army Reserve to complete his remaining service obligation of five years. He received an Honorable Discharge on August 1, 1966. Tom’s Forestry career expanded over decades including Koppers Company, when he left there, he became a self-employed logger working with his son for two years. Tom went on to work for the State of Maryland in 1991 as an environmental health specialist where he retired from in 2001. Both Tom and his wife Barbara moved to Denton Maryland in 1971 and were long time members of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.

     Tom is survived by: his loving wife of 60 years Barbara J. Gillan (McVay); his loving son Daniel Reed Gillan, husband to Violet Gillan and his son Joshua Gillan and great grandchildren Michael and Damien and step-great grandchildren Cloe, Hayden, Hunter, Natalie and Braxton; his loving daughter Mary Beth King wife to George King and her two sons, Donovan and Bryce Young. He is also survived by his sister Nancy Bloom (Gillan) and her children Brad, Tom, and Carolyn, Anne Bloom preceded him in death and His loving Niece and Nephew Nancy and Jeff McVay.

     Tom was well loved by both friends and family; he was an avid golfer and recreational waterman and his love of animals especially dogs is apparent in all our family photos as there was always a beloved family dog. Tom especially loved a lab named Denny whom he fostered for The Seeing Eye dog Foundation, to the day of his passing he carried a well-worn wallet with chew marks on the corners from Denny. Tom was an inventor at heart and was always rigging things to do something innovative or make a job easier. He loved joking with and teasing his friends and family mercilessly. In 2013 both Barb and Tom received difficult news when Barb was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Tom never wavered in his loving care of her even through his diagnosis of bladder cancer in December of 2017.

     A memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, April 6th, at the Moore Funeral Home, P.A. located 12 South Second Street in Denton where friends may visit one hour before the service. The interment is private.

     In lieu of flowers please make donations to The Seeing Eye Foundation Puppy Raising Program, at The Seeing Eye, P.O. Box 375, Morristown, NJ 07963-0375 or by going to To offer online condolences and tributes, please visit

Donations may be made to:

The Seeing Eye Foundation - Puppy Raising Program
P.O. Box 375, Morristown NJ 07963-0375

© 2019 Moore Funeral Home, P.A.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS