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Millikin University > Alumni & Friends > Stay Connected > Millikin Quarterly > Memorials > Posts > Gilason Sr., Robert '49

Robert M. Gilason Sr.

Robert M. Gilason Sr., of Scottsdale Arizona, died Tuesday, July 23, 2013. He was 88. Robert was born to the late Martin and Barbara Gilason on December 15, 1924 in Chicago IL. He graduated from Western Military Academy in 1942 and served his country in the US Army during World War II, where he attained the rank of Sergeant. Robert participated in the Normandy invasion and the liberation of France in 1944, and received an Honorable Discharge from the Army in 1946.

Following the war, Robert received a Bachelor's degree in Business from Millikin University in 1949. He married Norma Jean Harding in 1948, and they raised a family together, living in Pittsburgh PA, Chicago IL, Miami FL and Richmond VA before relocating to Scottsdale in 1995. Robert was a successful executive in the steel industry until he retired as CEO of Steel Services, Inc. in Richmond VA in 1991.

He was a lifelong Chicago Bears fan and had a passion for exotic audio equipment, great jazz, German automobiles and Spanish red wine. Robert was an active supporter of veteran causes and the US Olympic team, and was intensely proud of his Lithuanian heritage. He loved to travel, and visited Europe, Asia, Tahiti, Russia, Greece and Scandinavia with his wife during his lifetime.

Robert is survived by his wife Jean and four children: Robert M. Gilason, Jr., of Scottsdale, Jennifer Malone, of Pennsylvania, Kim Starke of Scottsdale, and Lance M. Gilason of Fredericksburg, VA. He is also survived by fourteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Robert was pre-deceased by his daughter Heather Taylor.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to Hospice of the Valley in Scottsdale or Millikin University. A private memorial service will be held in the near future for family and close friends.

Published in The Arizona Republic on Aug. 4, 2013


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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL