Rest in Peace Deacon Eugene “Gene” Reilly
MERRITT ISLAND, Fla.—Deacon Eugene “Gene” Reilly, 82, died in his Florida home on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017.
He was born in the Bronx, New York on July 21, 1935, to Eugene and Grace Reilly.
He served his country in the Korean War.
He moved his family to Rockford to become the Store Manager at Union Hall Department Store and opened The Chicken Place Restaurant. Later he took a position as regional sales manager for the Testor Corporation, retiring after 23 years.
He was ordained a deacon in the Catholic Church in 1975. He played a key role in bringing the diaconate program to the Rockford Diocese.
During his 43 years of service, he was with several parishes including St. Rita and St. Edward in Rockford, the Church of Our Savior in Cocoa Beach, Fla., and Divine Mercy in Merritt Island, Fla. He lead Bible studies in every parish and was active in the Knights of Columbus.
Additionally he served as a chaplain for the Rockford Police Department, Rockford Memorial Hospital, Cape Canaveral Hospital, and Courtney Springs Retirement Community.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Kathy Reilly, and his sons: Mike (Laurie) of Midway, Ariz., Steve (Sandy) and Tim (Ellen) of Rockford, Chuck of Cape Canaveral, Fla., Patrick of San Francisco, Calif., daughters: Patti Bryant (Bo) West Melbourne, Fla., and Sue Askeland (Steve) of Machesney Park; brother: John (Arlene) and sisters Pat (Bill) Muir, Jeanne (Bill) Schmidt; 17 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and 23 nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Cathy.
Funeral services will be at Divine Mercy Parish, Merritt Island, Fla. on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, at 10:30 am.
A memorial will be held at St. Rita Parish in Rockford, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, at 11 a.m.