Darrel R. Gillette, a Sanibel resident for 15 years, died of complications from mesothelioma on Tuesday, May 26. He was 78.
Gillette started working for Kroeschell Engineering Company in Chicago at age 17 in 1948 and worked there for two years until he joined the U.S. Navy and served during the Korean War. After serving honorably for four years, Darrel returned to Kroeschell, where he was employed for the next 42 years, rising from a starting position of draftsman to the level of president, a position which he held until his retirement in 1996.
He was a licensed Professional Engineer, a licensed real estate broker and earned his Bachelor's and an MBA degree from DePaul University in Chicago, Ill. He was a member of the Medinah Shriners in Chicago, the Mechanical Contractors Association and served on the Pennoyer Elementary School Board in Norridge, Ill. His retirement years were devoted to his beloved wife, Carol, his family, "working" on his golf game, and participating in Sanibel Bike Club activities on Sanibel.
Surviving is his spouse of 56 years, Carol. In addition, Gillette was the loving father of Russell and his wife, Shannon, Susan Walsh and her husband, Patrick, David and his wife, Maria, Steven and his wife, Lisa; he was also the devoted grandfather of Melanie, Allison, Kiley, Katie, Jenna, Colin, Sarah and Shalaya. Gillette was preceded in death by his daughter, Patricia, who died from Reyes Syndrome in 1980.
A memorial service will be held at Sanibel Community Church in the fall.
Memorials in Gillette's name sent to Hope Hospice, 9470 HealthPark Circle, Fort Myers, FL 33908, would be appreciated.