Hugh J. Gillen was a man of many names. He was “son” to his mother and “Gillen” to his in-laws, “Uncle Sonny” or “Uncle Gillen” to his nieces and nephews, “Grandpa” to an entire herd of grandchildren and “Jack”to everyone else. But whatever you called him, Gillen was also a man who enjoyed the many passions that locals develop from spending their adulthood on the South Shore, from fishing off the waters of Scituate Harbor, to towing the kids as they skied on Monponsett Pond, to cheering his beloved Boston sports teams even when they were awful.
Gillen, who worked for decades as a court officer at Suffolk Superior Court, and who lived his later years in Scituate, died April 28 at age 85.
A Korean War veteran who was honored for his service with a bronze star, a purple heart, a United Nations service medal and more, Gillen was a man with a big presence, not only because of his big frame but because he was an animated guy who never missed a game, the chance to sing Irish songs or the opportunity to laugh.
Jack was born in Boston on May 19, 1933 and lived his entire life in Massachusetts, spending 30 years raising his family in Halifax. He is survived by his beloved wife Eileen, and by children Brian and Joyce Gillen of Carver, Kathleen and William Kidd of Pembroke, Maureen and Gordon Webber of Carver, Diane McLevedge of Weymouth, John and Wendy Gillen of Halifax, Gary and Kim Gillen of East Bridgewater and Kimberly and Mark Holmes of Carver. He was predeceased by his son Steven Gillen, and son-in-law Duane McLevedge.
Jack also was survived by his cherished step-children: Edward and Janine Gill of Hingham, Roger and Barbara Gill of Pembroke, Brian and Karen Gill of Hanover, Maura and Paul Dawley of Scituate, and Daniel and Kellie Gill of Boston.
He was an adoring grandfather to 36, and great-grandfather of 11, and he had more than 20 nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Anna and Hugh Gillen of Boston, step-father Herbert J. Cleary Sr. of Winchester, by his sister, Rita Servello, and by his two step-brothers, the Rev. Richard T. Cleary S.J. and the Rev. Herbert J. Cleary, S.J..
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 am on May 10 at St. Mary of the Sacred Heart, 392 Hanover Street, Hanover, Mass. Interment will be in Cudworth Cemetery in Scituate. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Hugh’s memory should be made to Fisher House of Boston – which helps military families whose loved ones are in the hospital -- P.O. Box 230, South Walpole, MA 02071, online at fisherhouse.org.