Funeral liturgy for Donald F. Gilson, 90, of Canton, will be held on Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 12:00 noon at St. Mary’s Church in Canton with Rev. Douglas Lucia, officiating. Burial will follow in the Evergreen Cemetery, Canton. Mr. Gilson passed away on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at his home under the care of family and St. Lawrence Valley Hospice.
Friends may call at the O’Leary Funeral Home, Park St, Canton, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, 2011. Contributions in his memory may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of the St. Lawrence Valley, Canton Volunteer Fire and Rescue or St. Mary’s Church.
Donald is survived by two sons, Ronald and Deitre and Peter and Debbie Gilson, all of Canton; and four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by a brother, Walter.
Donald was born December 29, 1920 in Canton, the son of the late Walter and Myrtle (Chismore) Gilson. He graduated from Canton Central School in 1938 and Canton ATC in 1940 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He married Edna H. Lawrence on September 27, 1941 at St. Mary’s Church with Rev. Herbert Hannon, officiating. Edna predeceased him in 2007. Don worked at Alcoa from fall 1940 until entering the Marine Corp in 1944, where he participated in action against enemy Japanese forces at Okinawa, April of 1945 till June of 1945 then Occupation Taku in China from June till December 1945. He was honorably discharged in 1946.
Don opened the first Drive Inn Theatre north of Utica and Syracuse in 1947. He owned several movie theatres in Northern New York including the Ideal Drive Inn in Canton. They also owned and operated the Evergreen Bar and Restaurant in Canton for many years.
Don was a member of the Sorto Council K of C 1059, Canton VFW 1231, Marine Corp League, Ogdensburg BPOE 772, he was a member of the Canton Lions Club and past King Lion; member of the Quebec Brook hunting club, member of the Catamount Lake Hunting Club, formerly Little Stillwater.
Condolences may be shared with the family online at www.olearyfuneralservice.com.