Joseph Gillen


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

Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Tuesday, November 12, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in White Lake, SD. Burial will be at the St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to the funeral. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.

Joseph William Gillen was born June 14, 1937 in Mitchell, SD to Peter and Margaret (Elvira) Gillen. He grew up in White Lake, SD attended and boarded at St Wilfred’s Grade School in Woonsocket, SD and St. Mary’s High School in Salem, SD. Joe then attended St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN for two years, and later transferred to South Dakota State University to earn a degree in Civil Engineering. Joe worked in Sioux Falls, SD for the SD Dept. 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, SD until his retirement 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 Assoc., 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 Ann (Clark); his children, Jay William (Cheryl), Jeffrey Clark (Cheri), Mary Teresa (Mike) and Chad Joseph (Heidi); grandchildren, Ashley (Adam) Kenyon, Clifford Erik (Jennifer) Haines, Rebecca Gillen, Joshua Clark Gillen, Kajsa (Kyle) Myers, Cecilia Gillen, Kalle Joseph Haines, Grace Gillen, Piper Gillen, and Raina Gillen; great-grandchildren, Lilliana Kenyon, Callee Kenyon, Charlotte Kenyon, Ella Weingarten, and Clark Kenyon; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Margaret (Elvira) Gillen; 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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