Charles Gillis

charles gillis
Gramps On Sunday August 7th 2022 Charles William Gillis also known as "Dad", "Opi" or "Sonny" to his family and friends and "Coach Gillis" to all his baseball players gained his wings and was called up by God to be with him in the kingdom of heaven. He passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones. Charles W. Gillis was born August 20th 1936 to Louis and Viola Gillis of New Braunfels, Tx. He was a graduate of New Braunfels High School class of 1955 and was a member of the Unicorn Football team along with his life long best friend Harvey Scheel. The two of them were unseperatble throughout their entire lives. In 1956 he and his then wife had a son Charles Ed Gillis and then in 1958 they had twin daughters Liz Ann Carley and Lisa Ann Gillis (deceased). He worked at Mission Valley Mills during and after high school for over 30 years in the maintenance dept and later as a safety director which never suited him because he liked working with his hands more than being behind a desk. During his time at the mill he was offerd an opportunity to help get little league baseball started in New Braunfels and Comal County. It was here that he found his calling. Though he never played a game of baseball in his life his ability to coach the game just came to him naturally. He coached for over thirty years for various baseball organizations such as American Legion, Babe Ruth Baseball League (where he also served as president) and Little League Baseball. As a coach he won multiple titles on various levels from city championships, state titles and regional titles. In 1985 he coached the New Braunfels Babe Ruth 16-18 year old baseball team all the way to the Babe Ruth World Series in Fredrick, Maryland where they came up short in the championship game. He received multiple awards throughout his time as a coach including the key to the city of New Braunfels, a day (April 23rd 1963) designated as Charles Gillis day in New Braunfels, Tx. by then Mayor George Erben and a state flag flown over the Texas Capital in his honor. He was also the recipient of The Silver Unicorn Award in 1978 and one of his favorites was a flag he received flown over the U.S. Capitol for a day in honor of him for all of his contributions to the youth and the community in general. He also volunteered lots of his time umpiring and refereeing for other sports organizations in the community. He served in the naval reserves right after high school where he sailed on battleships through the waters around the Dominican Republic. He was a volunteer peace officer with the Comal County Sheriff's Dept and was a volunteer fireman for New Braunfels for 20 years. During the devastating flood of 1972 he sprung into action and started rescuing people stranded on rooftops and trees in the flooding Comal River. After his time working with Mission Valley Mills he became self employed and owned a few small businesses for several years. He also worked with his best friend Harvey at the very first Wurstfest held downtown in New Braunfels and he continued doing this for many of years. When his daughter Lisa passed away he stepped up and adopted her son Korbin and raised him with the help of other members of his family. In 1990 he decided to go to work for New Braunfels I.S.D. as a school bus driver. He did so for 14 years. He spent most of his years driving for special needs kids. He absolutely loved helping the special needs kids and all the kids loved him. It was another one of those jobs that just came to him naturally. While working for N.B.I.S.D. he was approached by his long time friend and former ball player Coach Chuck Engler about coaching the New Braunfels Unicorns Varsity baseball team but after some thought he decided his days of coaching were behind him. Later in life one of his greatest pleasures was donating awards to the New Braunfels Little League Challenge Team for handicapped children. In 2014 he was invited to share some of his lifes stories about baseball and discuss growing up in New Braunfels in the past on the Reflections Radio Program hosted by the Sophienburg Museum and aired on AM 1420 KGNB with host Judge Bob Pfiueffer. When he retired he lived a simple life often traveling with his best friend to his ranch in Rock Springs or with his friends to the casino's in Louisiana, a few trips to Tennessee andntaking roadtrips with his grandson and their dogs Buddy, Mocha and Sadie whom he loved very much. He loved playing dominoes and cards with his friends and family but playing dominoes with his grandson Korbin and listening to old school country and rock and roll records became a thing they did multiple times a week into the early morning hours. He also enjoyed hanging out at Freiheit Bowling Club where he was an honorary member on his grandsons 9 pin bowling team. He also enjoyed his Tuesday dinner group and going out to eat with his best friend Darla along with his weekly Wednesday gatherings with some of his former ball players. He absolutely loved spending time with his former players, they were just like family to him. He also made it out to just about every one of his grandson's bands many of rock and roll shows where he became known to the band members as Gramps. He also enjoyed it when his granddaughter Kenna would come over along with his great granddaughter Kently and visit or go for icecream. Every where he went he made new friends and everyone always loved him. He touched many of lives, shaped a lot of kids into the men they are today and donated so much of his time to the youth and the community of New Braunfels in general. He is proceeded in death by his father Louis Gillis, Mother Viola Gillis, Sister Marilyn Brown (Buddy), and his daughter Lisa Ann Gillis. He is survied by his son Charles Ed Gillis (Barbara), his daughter Liz Ann Carley (Dwight) grandsons Kennyn Carley (April), Korbin Gillis and David Gillis (Becky), granddaughters Cerise Gillett (Jason) and Kenna Carley, great grandsons Noah Gillett, Kentyn Carley, Konner Carley and Cooper Gillis, and his great granddaughters Livy Gillett and Kently Eason along with his nieces and nephews Debbie, Lori, Jeff, Bryan and David in Tennessee. The family would like to thank one of his best friends Darla for being such an amazing person to him and for everything she did for him. The family will be holding a celebration of life and hot dog cook out in honor of him which is what he wanted for his birthday this year. Date TBA. We will post the info on his facebook page when a date has been finalized. You may also text or call his grandson Korbin Gillis at 830.624 9001. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends and ballplayers. He will always be remembered as a legand to all those who knew him and played for him. On August 7th 2022 heaven gained an incredibly great man......

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  1. Uncle Sonny was a character for sure. I’ll miss chatting on the phone and getting all caught up on what’s happening in TX and TN. Lots of great memories to cherish now. One of my favorite memories is the shaving cream fight during one of his many visits to Harrogate TN. We got him good, LOL. RIP Uncle Sonny.

  2. I worked with Charlie at Mission Valley and have fond memories of him as an organizer of our company picnics where he coordinated the softball tournaments and employee appreciation events where he usually did the cooking. He was a very special person and will be missed.

  3. Coach Gillis was my little league baseball coach during the years that Charles Ed played on the same team. I have to say that of all the coaches I had throughout Jr High and High School, he was my favorite. He was fair and encouraging and made a sincere effort to bring out the best in all his players. My most pleasant memories of the many team sports I played will always include those of the team coached by “Coach” Gillis.

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