Betty J Gillman – Rest In Peace.

My Mother, Betty J Gillman, Born September 18, 1941, passed on today at 930am in Traverse City receiving the best medical attention and surrounded by her family, and husband of nearly 48 years who loved her so very much. I hurt for him, never have seen him so saddened.

She was a strong woman. So much so, that her suggested 5 days of life expectancy three years ago easily became a high quality 3 years. So much so, she sometimes frustrated those who would try to bend her will.. even for her own benefit.

She was a generous woman. She had often the propensity to identify the homeless near her home and offer them money for food. She also spent incredible amounts of time and energy in her younger years raising money for the hungry through a myriad of organizations which do so. Her outward generosity was even multiplied in that towards her children as well.

She had a sense of humor. Perhaps my jokes are indeed funny, as she laughed at every one.

She was incredibly intelligent, Well read, and an information seeker. She made critical thinking quite important to us, challenging us to look from multiple perspectives.

She had class. Everything she did, had to be done right. To be sure, if not, it was not worth doing.

She was the best mom. All the problems she absorbed for the sake of her children, and the joy she brought the children of her sons, perhaps overshadowing the incredible effort it must have been to keep her 5 sons out of trouble. An effort well rewarded with all sons productive and generous contributors to our communities..

At least in my opinion.

My brothers and I were no less than a handful. As toddlers, we were little jerks, as teenagers we were immature jerks. As we aged, we became even more sophisticated jerks. She defended us when we needed defending, but discovered how to instill a conscience so that when guilt was necessary, it thrived.

And she was loved and respected by our friends as well.

I often recall these words spoken by not just one of my friends:

“Your mom is so cool.. How is it even remotely possible you can be such an asshole.”

I would always answer the same way.. “yeah she is.. isn’t she..?”

Truly, if I had to describe my mom, the woman who gave me life, gave me a conscience, saved my life at least once, and taught me how to think.. I would have to say yes.. she was really cool.

God Bless you Mom.. I will miss you so very much.

55 comments for “Betty J Gillman – Rest In Peace.

  1. January 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm


    I know, because both my parents have died, that there are no words anyone can say that matter. Still, I am very sorry for your loss.

    Your Mom sounds like she was a lot like mine.

  2. January 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I’m sorry to hear the sad news. You and your family are in my prayers.


  3. jgillman
    January 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Thank you both. As things are pretty much handled now, I am trying to occupy my mind to lessen the effects of the grief, which strangely enough I am attempting to analyze.. I cannot tell you how much it means to me to see your kind words. – J

  4. Rougman
    January 8, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I am truly sorry for your loss. I will be praying for your family.

    • jgillman
      January 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm

      Thanks Rougman.. I appreciate it.

  5. Bruce Barlond
    January 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Mr. Gillman,
    So sorry to hear of your loss! From your description of your mom she was indeed a fine woman and GREAT mother. May she rest in Eternal Peace and be a guiding light to those she left behind.

    • jgillman
      January 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm

      She was indeed ..and Thank you

  6. val wilhoite
    January 8, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Dear Gillmans, I was so saddened to hear of her death. I will keep you guys in my prayers!

    • jgillman
      January 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm

      Thank you Val

  7. wendy day
    January 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Oh Jason, I am so sad for you. Reading your post made me cry. As a mom I hope I am blessed to be remembered so well by my own children. What a nice way to honor her!

    • jgillman
      January 8, 2010 at 4:50 pm

      Wendy, from what I know I am sure you will be. Thank you.

  8. Anne Hooghart
    January 8, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    How beautiful, Jay–it made me cry, too, when I read it! Your mother certainly raised 5 wonderful sons. We will all miss her bright spirit.

    • jgillman
      January 8, 2010 at 7:54 pm

      Thank you Anne. See you and those beautiful girls in a day or two..

  9. Eric & Mary Beth Maes
    January 8, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Our condolences go out to your family. Our prayers are with you during this difficult time.

    Eric, Mary Beth, Alina & Reed Maes
    Anne & Andy’s friends in Ypsilanti.

    • jgillman
      January 8, 2010 at 8:05 pm

      Thank you Very Much

  10. January 8, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Bill and I very sorry for your loss. We wish you, Jason, and Candy, as well as the rest of your family, comfort in your memories of her. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.

    • jgillman
      January 9, 2010 at 12:39 am

      Thank you..

  11. David and Linda Kaiser
    January 8, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    We are saddened to hear of your mother’s passing. We pray for God’s comfort for your father and all 5 of you sons and your families.
    David and Linda Kaiser (Alex, Max and Ellie)
    Anne’s sister and brother-in-law

    • jgillman
      January 9, 2010 at 12:40 am

      Thank you So much

  12. January 8, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Condolences to you and your family, Jason and Candy. Her example is alive and well in you. God’s blessings and comfort.

    • jgillman
      January 9, 2010 at 12:40 am

      Thanks Daar it means a lot.

  13. January 9, 2010 at 12:30 am

    I lost my mom two years ago new years eve. I think of her every day. You have my sympathy and prayers. I won’t argue with you about who had the best mom because I am sure she was the best mom to you. I hope you and your family find peace. Love your father he will need you the most.


    • jgillman
      January 9, 2010 at 12:43 am

      Rose, Its something we know is coming but is indeed hard.. No argument necessary, your mom must have been something special too, I just know it. Thank you.

  14. January 9, 2010 at 1:12 am

    What a beautiful tribute to your mother.
    You have my heart-felt condolences.

    • jgillman
      January 9, 2010 at 1:50 am

      Thank you Bea

  15. Ronald J. Gradowski
    January 9, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I can testify to everything that was written (beautifully done Jason) about my Aunt Betty. She will be missed but never forgotten. She is the definition of a great soul and human being and has certainly had a positive influence on my life. We will meet again.

    • jgillman
      January 9, 2010 at 12:27 pm

      Ron, Your visit three years ago when she was in the hospital was appreciated greatly by her and all of us. Thank you!

  16. Herb & Barb Lemcool
    January 9, 2010 at 10:55 am

    so sorry about your loss it sound like she was a great person and sure brought you up right. God be with you and your family

    • jgillman
      January 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm

      Herb, knowing your dedication to family it means even more. Thank you.

  17. Carolyn Anderson-Fermann
    January 9, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. We know it is tough to loose a parent and grandparent.
    Carolyn, Martin, Christoph, Arianna & Muffin
    Anne & Andy’s Friends in Dexter

    • jgillman
      January 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm

      Thank you Carolyn.

  18. Larry White
    January 9, 2010 at 11:24 am

    My sincerest condolences on the loss of your mother. My family and I will keep you in our prayers. It is obvious she was a very good mother judging from the positive impact you have had on our community!

  19. jgillman
    January 9, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Thank you Larry.

  20. Cull the Herd
    January 9, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I lost my mother 2 years ago. I know the really good moms are setting there looking down and bragging about what their kids are doing. Condolences and Prayers go out to you and your family.

    • jgillman
      January 9, 2010 at 12:52 pm

      Thank you

  21. penny misner
    January 10, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Jason and Candy, please add my husband’s and my prayers for you and your family. God bless you all.

    • jgillman
      January 10, 2010 at 8:14 pm

      Thank you very much Penny

  22. Matthew & Christine Schoech
    January 10, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Jason Gillman Family,
    With profound sorrow we share in your loss. When my mother went to heaven a few years ago the words of
    Psalm 30:5 gave me comfort and perspective.
    “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning”. God bless all of your family and help you through your sorrow.

    Matthew and Christine Schoech

    • jgillman
      January 10, 2010 at 8:19 pm

      Thank you for your positive words Matt, they are greatly appreciated.

  23. Mike, Jan and Holly Charter
    January 11, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Having just lost someone close to us we send our heartfelt condolences. We have gotten to know Andy in recent months because our daughters go to school together and can only assume what a beautiful family you must have because of the way he has contributed to those he holds dear. Lean on eachother and hold your mom’s memory in high regard.

    • jgillman
      January 11, 2010 at 11:11 am

      Thank you, and I am sorry for your recent loss as well.

  24. January 11, 2010 at 10:59 am

    To the Gillman Family,

    I am a friend and co-worker of Anne Hooghart.

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your wife and mother.
    I am passing this prayer on to your family as it helps me every day since the passing of my parents. I hope it helps you too….

    A Hopi Prayer

    Do not stand at my grave and weep;
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn rain.

    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry;
    I am not there, I did not die.

    by Mary E. Frye

    • jgillman
      January 11, 2010 at 11:13 am

      Thank you. Indeed Anne has many interesting and thoughtful friends.

  25. Eliany
    January 11, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I am so sorry about your loss. Your are in our prayers, and our thoughts are with you and your family. How beautiful to know your parents were married almost 50 years…. and what a sad day this must be for the whole family. My deepest condolences.

    • jgillman
      January 12, 2010 at 9:12 am

      Thank you Ely. We pulled 100s of pictures spanning 1962 to literally a couple weeks ago for the service. It was a serious trip down memory lane. My dad honored her wishes (and her sense of humor) with the playing of the Colonel Bogey March for the service. It was her request.

  26. The Wu family
    January 12, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    To the entire Gillman family,
    We offer our thoughts of sympathy at the loss of your wife and mother…a woman who, from your wonderful description, has left the world a better place because of her existance. We will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers today and through the months ahead.
    May God place his healing hand on your sad hearts!
    Nancy, Steve, Kevin & Katie (neighbors/friends of Anne & Andy)
    P.S. LOVE the ‘malt-o-meal song’. I’m sure your mom is smiling down from heaven!

    • jgillman
      January 12, 2010 at 3:36 pm

      Thank you! I have been bragging about Anne and Andy’s great friends.

  27. January 12, 2010 at 6:16 pm


    Our prayers are with you and your family.

    • jgillman
      January 12, 2010 at 7:07 pm

      Thanks Bruce they always seem to work too!

  28. The Talbot Family
    January 13, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    To the whole Gillman clan. We are very sad to hear of your loss. We know Andy is a wonderful guy, and now we know a little more about why. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this very sad and difficult time.
    Beth, Matt, Evie and Juliet Talbot (former neighbors/friends of Anne & Andy).

    • jgillman
      January 14, 2010 at 12:11 am

      Thank you Talbots. I know Anne and Andy have great taste in friends as well. That does quite a bit to lessen any worries I have for my little brother. ;o)

  29. Jody Ferry
    January 13, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    So sorry to learn about the parting of your mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    • jgillman
      January 14, 2010 at 12:13 am

      Thank you Jody, all the wonderful prayers and wishes have helped immensely…

  30. Corinthian Scales
    January 25, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Mr. Gillman, I am so sorry to learn of this news at such a late time. I’ve been dealing with personal tragedy of my own but nothing comparable to the loss of a family member.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    • jgillman
      January 26, 2010 at 12:08 am

      I hope things work out well for whatever it is that is currently troubling you.

      I take with me some pretty wonderful memories. The prayers and support has been quite a boon, and the family is adjusting. We have some truly great friends both here in Michigan and afar.

      Thank you.

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