Cover photo for Barbara Claire Gillis's Obituary
Barbara Claire Gillis Profile Photo

Barbara Claire Gillis

d. September 12, 2022

Barbara Claire Gillis, 81, of Lancaster passed away on September 12, 2022 at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, following a stroke.  She was the loving wife of Dan E. Gillis to whom she was married for 56 years.  Born in Lancaster, she was the daughter of the late Edward F. and Alice J. (Phetteplace) Jaeger.

After graduating from Lancaster Country Day School, Barbara attended Russell Sage College in Troy, NY, and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business in 1962.

By nature, Barbara was very adventurous and loved traveling the world.  She enjoyed learning about the history and experiencing the cultures of other countries.  She adored life and had a joyous spirit and an infectious smile that could be felt by all who met her.  She lived in Tokyo for 4 1/2 years and traveled all over southeast Asia following her husband’s appointment as Armstrong’s Manager of Japan and South Korea.  In her final year there she was President of the 300 + member College Women’s Association of Japan, devoted to providing study abroad scholarships and mentoring to deserving young Japanese women.  They were then posted to England for 3 years.  She delighted in living there and in actively supporting various worthy causes through her club work.

Barbara’s patriotism and philanthropic nature is evident by her membership and involvement in organizations such as:  Rock Ford (board member); Junior League of Lancaster, and 8 genealogical organizations including:  Daughters of the American Revolution, The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America; and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.  The Donegal Chapter of DAR recognized her exceptional accomplishments as Regent by naming her Honorary Chapter Regent, only the fifth to receive this honor in the Chapter’s 125-year history.

She spent the final years of her professional career as an Executive Assistant working passionately with the Milton Hershey School’s upper management to support growth, development and education of less fortunate children.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by two sisters-in-law:  Elizabeth P. Jaeger of Lancaster and Linda G. Averette, and her husband James of Zebulon, NC. and two brothers-in-law:  Raymond Douglas Gillis and his wife Marsha of Charlotte, NC. and Earl Bradford Gillis and his wife Karen of Columbia, NC.  She was preceded in death by her brother, Edward Phetteplace Jaeger.

From childhood until recently, Barbara enjoyed many happy days at the family’s summer home on beautiful South Pond in Brookfield, Massachusetts.  Her ashes will be scattered there.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial service at DeBord Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory, 141 E. Orange Street, Lancaster, PA 17602 on Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 11:00 AM.  Friends may greet the family from 10:00 AM until the time of the service.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory.  Checks payable to Donegal Witness Tree DAR may be sent to 317 W. Lemon Street, Lancaster, PA 17603.  To leave an online condolence for the family, please visit:
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Claire Gillis, please visit our flower store.


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