Lebanon Reporter

Obituaries

November 15, 2012

John “Big John” Gillis

John “Big John” Gillis passed away Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, at his home in Broad Ripple.

He was born Sept. 24, 1947, in San Antonio, Texas, where his parents owned a riding stable. Around the age of 2, he moved with his family to Cheyenne, Wyo., where his father was stationed with the United States Air Force. Another military move took the family to Japan for two years and left John with incredible memories. Upon his father’s retirement from the military, the family returned to their origins in Howe, Ind.

At age 16, John got his first job at a radio station, first sweeping floors and then broadcasting news from the high school he attended in LaGrange. He could see the flashing lights on the station’s radio tower from his bedroom window, and knew that he wanted to be in broadcasting for the rest of his life. After high school, he attended Indiana University, where he became involved in a student radio station in the basement of his dormitory, known today as WIUX. At age 20, he left campus life for the real world and WIBC, the powerhouse of Indianapolis Radio. There he remained for the next 40 years.

John loved camping with his family, which included four dogs, first in a tent and then in his beloved RV, Ollie. Although they had traveled to 48 states, his favorite place to camp was in Indiana state parks.

He had a bottomless passion for people and the community organizations that served their needs. His home office walls were lined with awards and honors for his dedication to the ordinary man.

John is survived by his wife, Sherry, whom he met at a fundraiser; stepson, Hew Simons and wife Jan; two grandchildren, Kyle and Kayln of Brownsburg; sister, Sally McGuire and husband Devin of Bloomington; and two nephews, Josh and Joey Richards, and their families. He will be missed by countless friends, neighbors and fans.

A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Flanner and Buchanan – Broad Ripple, with a gathering from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Indiana University Foundation, where the family will designate the funds to support telecommunication students and facilities at Indiana University.

Online condolences may be made at www.flannerbuchanan.com.

1
Text Only
Obituaries

Featured items
Click below to browse and order photos


Photos from June 2014

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide