Obituary: Ted Gillis

Ted Gillis

Feb. 21, 1942 ~ Mar. 8, 2019

Twenty-year Meeker resident, Ted Gillis, passed away at his farm near Temuco, Chile on March 8, 2019. He was surrounded by friends and family; Ted was 77.

Ted was  the second of four children born to Ada and Chris Gillis on Feb. 21, 1942, in Longmont, Colo. The family moved to Durango where Ted spent most of his childhood living and working on the family farm. Ted also participated in many sports during his high school career, playing football, basketball, baseball and wrestling and eventually earning a football scholarship to Fort Lewis College. Ted served in the military for two years in France and Germany and upon his return worked in a variety of vocations from dairy farms to roughnecking and eventually in heavy construction. His work in heavy construction took Ted overseas to Israel and to Chile.

In 1983, while working in Chile, Ted met and married the love of his life Jannette Romero, and they returned to the United States shortly thereafter; in the early years they lived in a few different states.  From that union Ted and Jannette had two children: a son Miles born in 1987 and a daughter Jamie in 1990. Ted and his young family settled in Meeker in 1991 where they raised their children, and he started a manufacturing business called Headhunter Strings.

After the children were raised, Ted retired in 2011 to Temuco, Chile, where they bought a farm and pursued his lifelong love of farming. He was particularly fond of raising and working with cows and horses. With the help of Jannette, Miles and visits from Jamie, Ted ran a full time working farm raising hay, bamboo, cows, horses, goats, llamas and turkeys (to name a few).

Ted had many interests and as a young man he enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping and exploring new places.  He shared his love of nature and the outdoors with his family, taking them on many camping adventures. Ted was a woodworker and craftsman and created beautiful pieces of furniture using the woods natural grains and twists to create artistically unique and beautiful pieces.

A tireless learner and forever curious, Ted was always reading and learning about something. He could have fluent conversations on topics from animal genetics to intricate mechanical machines. He was curious about cultures and ways of life in places he visited. Throughout his life he obtained a breadth of knowledge but never considered himself and expert on anything and loved sharing his knowledge and experiences with people and friends, especially those he met in Chile.

His life came full circle when Ted returned to his “adopted country” (Chile) in 2012 and bought his farm. He loved living in Chile.

Above everything, however Ted valued and loved his family, He is survived by his wife Jannette of 35 years and son Miles of Temuco, Chile, and daughter Jamie of Tacoma, Wash. Ted will be remembered as a kind humble man who shared his charitable nature and zest for life with those that crossed his path.

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