Joseph Gillen

Sioux Falls

Joseph Gillen, 82, of Sioux Falls, died Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, at his home.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, Nov. 12, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in White Lake. Burial was at the St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery. Visitation was one hour prior to the funeral. Arrangements were by Bittner Funeral Chapel.

Joseph William Gillen was born June 14, 1937, in Mitchell to Peter and Margaret Elvira Gillen. Joe grew up in White Lake. He attended and boarded at St. Wilfrid’s Grade School in Woonsocket and St. Mary’s High School in Salem. Joe then attended St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., for two years, and later transferred to South Dakota State University to earn a degree in Civil Engineering. Joe worked in Sioux Falls for the South Dakota Department of Transportation and for the City of Sioux Falls City Engineers Office.

Joe married Audrey Ann Clark in St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Sioux Falls on May 27, 1961. In 1966, Joe was appointed as City Engineer for the City of Vermillion. He retired from that position in 1998. Joe and Audrey owned and operated Gillen Land Surveying until 2012. Joe served his country as a member of the South Dakota Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve for 32 years, retiring as Lt. Colonel.

Joe was active in St. Agnes Catholic Church, building committee, Eucharistic minister, Fairview Catholic Cemetery, St. Peter’s Cemetery in White Lake, Vermillion Federal Credit Union Board, American Public Works Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, National Society of Professional Engineers, Society of Professional Land Surveyors and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Joe is survived by his wife of 58 years, Audrey; his children Jay (Cheryl), Jeffrey (Cheri), Mary (Mike) and Chad (Heidi); 10 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers, James, Donald, Leo, Norbert, Peter; two infant sisters, Mary Louise and Rose Ann; and nieces and nephew, Teresa, Lynn and David.

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