Cover photo for Douglas E. Gillen's Obituary
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Douglas E. Gillen

October 11, 1934 — December 6, 2023

Minneapolis

Douglas E. Gillen

Douglas E. Gillen

October 11, 1934 – December 6, 2023

Douglas E. Gillen (Doug) of Minneapolis, MN passed away on December 6, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. Doug is survived by his loving wife Jane of 67 years. Sons Steve (Kristal), David (Tamra), and daughters Kathy (Corey) Melville and Susan (Lawrence) Kotok. Doug is also survived by loving siblings, brother, Michael and sister, Maryann and many wonderful nieces and nephews.

Doug had a special relationship with his grandchildren who were the light of his life. Surviving grandchildren are Brooke (Joe), Nick, Curran, Jordan (Joe), Garrett (Kassidy), Gavin, Michael (Nicole), McKenna, Jack, Simon, and Bennett. Doug was blessed with three great-grandchildren: Brayden, Willow and Rome. Doug’s grandchildren especially made the last chapter of his life truly beautiful with many visits filled with stories, laughter and love.

Doug lived an accomplished life. He grew up in North Minneapolis graduating from North High School and went on to play baseball for the U.S. Navy team. He used the GI Bill to attend the University of Minnesota where he continued a distinguished baseball career with at least one NCAA record still in his name to this day. The highlight of his baseball career was playing first base for the Gophers on the College World Series winning team in 1956. This team is still written about by local sportswriters and a great source of pride for Doug and his family.

After graduating from the U of MN, Doug spent time in sales for several large companies before following his passion and started his own sporting goods company named “North Star Sporting Goods” focusing on fishing tackle sales to local bait shops. He loved the outdoors and had many wonderful hunting and fishing trips with dear friends going back to childhood and college baseball days. Doug was also an avid golfer and loved all sports and passed that on to his kids and extended family.

Doug was a man of deep faith as a long-time member of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church where he was a volunteer for many years.

A special thank you to providers and staff at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center for the loving care provided to Doug over the years and especially in his last chapter on Dignity Lane.

In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to family, and will be forwarded to the Minneapolis VA Medical Center MN VA Donate Form

Visitation 9am, Thursday, December 14th at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church at 7025 Halifax Avenue N, Brooklyn Park, MN. Mass of Christian burial at 10am with lunch to follow. A military burial at Fort Snelling will occur the same day at 1:00pm.

Doug will be deeply missed by family and friends, especially this holiday season.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Douglas E. Gillen, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, December 14, 2023

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)

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Mass

Thursday, December 14, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Committal

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Fort Snelling National Cemetery

7601 34th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55450

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Guestbook

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