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Rowland F. Gillette

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McDonald Funeral Home

1002 12th Avenue
Rock Falls, IL 61071
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“I know Rowland since 1960 he was such a good man ”
1 of 21 | Posted by: Debra Peterson - Rock falls, IL

“I am sorry to hear of Rowlands passing. I worked around him back when I started out as a Deputy Sheriff. He was always helpful and a wealth of...Read More »
2 of 21 | Posted by: Ronald Pilgrim - Fulton, IL

“My condolences to Rowland's family. I enjoyed working with Rowland and listening to his stories. He had a lot of knowledge and a keen sense of...Read More »
3 of 21 | Posted by: Debra Burke - Friend

“Dawn & family, So sorry to hear of Mr. Gs passing..... I remember when I worked with Dawn at Walmart. Geralyn and I visited your home a few times. Mr...Read More »
4 of 21 | Posted by: Susan Herbon - Friend

“There are several memories I have about Grandpa Gillette (Rowland) growing up. Reflecting on the totality of our time together, what really stands...Read More »
5 of 21 | Posted by: Everett (Randy) Goodman - NM

“Rowland and I were long time buddies and shared many jokes and funny stories. He will be missed. My condolences to all of the family. ”
6 of 21 | Posted by: Jim Branch - Rock Falls, IL

“As I had the privilege and opportunity to work with Rowland at the City of Rock Falls; he taught me life lessons on how to deal with politics, people...Read More »
7 of 21 | Posted by: Sylvia Frey - ROCK FALLS, IL

“You have our upmost sympathy, I had the honor to work with Rowland in several of his roles. Many of his one liners will live on!! As I always give...Read More »
8 of 21 | Posted by: Gary Cook - Coworker

“Please accept our deepest condolences on your loss. Rowland was the rock of the Gillette family and a pillar for the Rock Falls community. May his...Read More »
9 of 21 | Posted by: Ysied Gillette - Los Angeles, CA

“Dawn and family, We are so very sorry about the loss of Rowland. We smiled thinking about his toothpicks. Prayers for peace and comfort in this next...Read More »
10 of 21 | Posted by: Ron and Becky DeShazo - IL

“Dawn & Family, I am so sorry to here of Rowland's passing. My heart, prayers & love are with you all. Lots of great memories❤ ”
11 of 21 | Posted by: Kelly DeShazo-Bolen - Byron, IL

“May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. ”
12 of 21 | Posted by: Jerry and Carolyn Allen - Friend

“Rowland will be missed by both Friends and Family members. For me, Rowland was a Special friend that I will always remember . Peter Whiting ”
13 of 21 | Posted by: Peter Whiting - Rock Falls, IL

“So sorry to hear this. Enjoyed working with him as an EMT student way back when. Good Man, May he rest in peace. ”
14 of 21 | Posted by: Mary Emily Brandon - Morrison, IL

“I am so sorry to hear about Rowlands passing. I hope that the love of family and friends will comfort and strengthen the family in the days ahead. ”
15 of 21 | Posted by: Nancy Rose - Monroe, WI

“We are so very sorry for your loss. Allen was so proud of his brother and his beautiful family! Rowland will be missed by so many!! ”
16 of 21 | Posted by: Gerald and Brinda Winger - Dixon, IL

“Prayers to family and friends. Even though Dana and I will be unable to attend we will be present in spirit. ”
17 of 21 | Posted by: Oris DePuy - Monroe, WI

“RIP brother! You will be missed and remembered with loving memories. See you on the other side. ”
18 of 21 | Posted by: Mary McQuoid - Eucha, OK - Family

“A man of few words at times but always made an impact when he spoke. You will always remain our heart and feel so blessed your grandchildren (Ariel...Read More »
19 of 21 | Posted by: JoAnna Gillette - Mesa, AZ

“So sorry to the Gillette family. Rowland meant so much to so many. I worked with him for a number of years at Twin City/CGH. Rowland shared so much...Read More »
20 of 21 | Posted by: Joseph Real - RockFalls, IL

“RIP Dad, I can never repay you for teaching me everything you did !!My deepest condolences to the family ”
21 of 21 | Posted by: James Brandenburg - Sterling, IL


Rowland Franklin Gillette, 85, passed peacefully into Heaven in his home. Where he resided for over 50 years in Rock Falls, Illinois surrounded by his loving wife Dawn, children and grandchildren. He strived to make this a better world for all. He was born September 21, 1935 in Mendota, IL to Charles and Esther Gillette. Rowland and Dawn celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary in 2019 with all his family present.

He graduated from Rock Falls High School , then served his country in the US Air Force as a Military Police Officer in Germany from 1955-1959. He then returned to his lifelong servitude to the City of Rock Falls, IL. His devotion to making Rock Falls a better place began with his career in 1960 on the Rock Falls Police Department retiring with Lieutenant Ranking in 1980. He also served simultaneously as a Fire Fighter, which almost took his life twice as he was helping others. He then worked ten more years serving his community as an EMT for Twin City/CGH Ambulance service. He then finally completed his last 15 years of civic duty as the Rock Falls building inspector. He was recognized with a Key to the City of Rock Falls as recognition for his lifelong service to the city that he cared so deeply about. While being a devoted father of seven, he also worked as a licensed electrician for M&M electric, as well as many other contractors throughout the Rock Falls-Sterling area. He worked these jobs while doing his regular city duties ensuring his family was provided for. Rowland will be remembered for his unfailing work ethic and his endless efforts to help all in need.

He was an avid fisherman until the final year of his life always enjoying dropping a line in the Rock River. He also was an avid hunter and took numerous trips with his sons and grandsons. Especially his camping trips to the Rocky Mountains hunting Elk well into his 70's. He also thrived when helping his children build their homes, again up to his late 70's.

Rowland and Dawn raised their 7 children in the same house of 50 years, where one of his last wishes was to pass there which the Lord allowed him to do.
He was known for his sense of humor, one liners, and his unwavering strength with a sense of fearlessness. For those lucky enough to know this, Rowland's staple was his 'toothpicks' and when it got tucked behind his ear, one would know there was a storm that was about to be released and to cooperate or seek shelter.
He is survived by his wife Dawn Elaine (Bucher) Gillette Rock Falls; his brother Noel (Nancy) Gillette, Rock Falls; sister Linda Gillette, Oklahoma; sister Mary (McQuoid) Gillette, Oklahoma; He has seven children, Tim Gillette, Scottsdale, AZ; Terry (Carla) Gillette, Saguache CO; Tony (Michele) Gillette, Sterling, IL; Theresa (Tom) Laufenberg, Marshall, WI; Todd (Lorna) Gillette, Piedmont, SC; Trent (Kelly) Gillette, Rock Falls, IL; Traci (Joel) Ramirez, Phoenix, AZ.
He had 23 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren.

A public visitation will be held on Sunday January 24, 2021 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at the McDonald Funeral Home, 1002 12th Avenue in Rock Falls. A private family service following. The service will be live streamed on the McDonald Funeral Home and Crematory Facebook site.

In lieu of flowers a memorial will be established.