Daniel Rey Gillim was born August 25, 1951; he came to the world in the usual way to parents Charles Berkshire Gillim and Betty Jane Goldsmith Gillim in Evansville, Indiana.
He was raised by his mother Betty Jane with a strong influence from his grandmother “Bam Bam” and her husband Larry Hodgkins along with siblings Charles, Michael, and Suzanne. By the time Dan was six, his father had left his home and went his lone and solitary way becoming a member of George Liberace’s orchestra performing nightly at the Ponderosa Hotel in Las Vegas.
Growing up, Dan delivered the newspaper, sold ice cream from a cart, and washed dishes at the local hotel. His home with his mother and siblings was a gathering place for Boy Scout meetings, band practice, and well-cooked meals.
But his hands were meant for different work, and he volunteered to join the United States Marine Corp in 1968. He trained as an electrician and was shipped out to Oceanside, California, and then Da Nang, Vietnam, just a hired hand, working’ on the dreams he planned to try. He celebrated his 19th birthday on China Beach.
He spent his twenties in North Carolina and Virginia, on highways and dance halls. Gamblers in the neon, clinging to guitars. In 1980 he married and moved to California, becoming a father in 1981. The gypsy flies from coast to coast.
Dan spent the next twenty-five years on the west coast, trying to make a living and doing the best he can. He helped raise two beautiful daughters, he worked hard, started his own business, he loved, he lost, bearing sorrow, having fun.
His life was filled with music and strong women. The relationships that meant the most to him were with his wife Susan, his late wife Tina, his sister Suzanne, his daughters Melissa, Andrea, Lyndsey, Kaitlyn, Kylie, his great aunt Virginia, his mother, and his grandmother Lillian (Bam Bam). These were the relationships and visions of good times that brought so much pleasure to his life. Music was the undercurrent of it all, whether in rock bands as a teen, experiencing the Rolling Stones at Altamont in 1969, taking his daughters to see Aerosmith and Tom Petty, or playing the guitar during open-mic nights at the neighborhood bar or for anyone who would listen.
He spent his final years in Florida under sunny days that I thought would never end. Living each day under another tequila sunrise stirrin’ slowly across the sky. He died at his home on March 12, 2021. His time was up too soon, and his friends and family will miss him dearly. Those that loved him will carry the memories of how wonderful life was while he was in the world.
Dan is survived by his wife Susan Gillim, his siblings Charles Allen Gillim, Michael Gillim, Suzanne Knee, and daughters Melissa (Gillim) Chowning, Andrea (Gillim) Wheelon, and adopted daughters Lyndsey Dragos, Kaitlyn Blake, and Kylie Jane Doughman and stepchildren Danielle Garrison and Jessica Evans.
His grandchildren Ruby, Parker, Elliot, Michael, Brody, Jacob, Zackary, Bradley and Carter, and step-grandchildren Maia, Anthony, Austyn, Taysom, and soon-to-be baby Blake will grow up hearing the adventurous stories of his life.
His long-time and cherished friends include Stephen Amos, David Painter, Bill and Emily Vivier, Bob Schue, Mark Dolan, Will and Deb Gaudreau, Rick and Laurie Wykoff and Paul & Nadene Larson.
I know when I know nothing, I will always know your name… A living legacy to the leader of the band.
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The service from Millennium was outstanding. Rachel was sweet, personable and very comforting. It was important to me that my dad was kept locally where I knew where he would be. Very nice facility, state of the art and quality of my fathers remains were so refined compared to my mothers years ago. I highly recommend this place for an affordable choice for your loved one. Thank you for making an already stressful event easy. With high regards, the Esposito and Keith Family.
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