James P. Gillies Profile Photo

James P. Gillies

June 13, 1938 — February 22, 2024


James P. Gillies

James Patrick Gillies, passed away at his home in Monticello, Indiana on the morning of  February 22, 2024 at the age of 85. 

He was born June 13, 1938 in Bellshill, U.K. to the late James and Anne (Lynch) Gillies. 

Raised going to church and serving as an altar boy for the Latin mass, Jimmy was known as a man who appreciated and held firmly to his faith. While a teenager, he studied to be a missionary priest and was faithful to serve in the Latin mass as an altar boy. Following the steps of his father, he worked in the railway system, obtaining a fulltime job with British railways at age 15. He worked there as a signal crossing boy, marking required notes of trains passing by.  Jimmy was married to his first wife, the former Mary Boyce (Colston) for 50 years, before she preceded him in death in 2011. James David Gillies, his son (wife Angela), age 59 of Ardrossen, U.K. survives him. Jimmy's siblings, Robert, Peter, Tommy, Agnes, and Kathleen survive. His sister Ann recently preceded him in death.

Recognized for faithful service, he was employed with British Railways for over 55 years until retiring at age 71. Particularly he was noted as an outstanding employee in his work as a safety supervisor and trainer. Jimmy was recognized for the development of a safety-promoting, innovative signal box, called the Amanda Box, that significantly curbed railway accidents across the UK. This project he allowed an understudy to accept accolades for, but he was later recognized once found out. Upon this recognition, he and his wife, Mary, rode 1st class from Scotland to British Railways headquarters in England to be recognized at a special ceremony for his invention. His safety supervisory role was so well done, and his knowledge of the railway electrical systems so in-depth that there was no problem he couldn't solve. For this he became known as "Captain Fantastic", or "The Captain" by his colleagues across the entire British Railway company, often getting calls from other stations for trouble-shooting. 

A notable family man, he enjoyed family all his life. He loved home-life and closeness with his wife and son. After Mary passed, Jimmy met his 2nd wife Barbara.. They married on March 17, 2013.  While married 10 years with Barbara, he enjoyed her 3 children, Aram Jordan of Grand Rivers, KY, Andy Jordan (wife Heather), of Brookston, IN, and Karen Hockstra (husband David), of Lafayette, IN. He loved being "Grandpa Jimmy" to Andy and Heathers children: Matthew (wife Abby), Rachel, Hadassah, John, Abigail, Tabitha, and wee James.  He and Barbara were happily married 10 years until Barbara's passing on March 11, 2023.

Jimmy knew how to functionally communicate in several European languages and loved to travel around Europe. Always a twinkle in his eye, he blessed others with lots of humor and a warm cuddle or hug. Jimmy was always reflecting God's fatherly heart and will be sorely missed. We rejoice in the promise of resurrection that he so firmly believed in, remembering that his final prayers were answered to go quickly to see Grandma Barbie. They are now with the Lord Jesus, smiling in God's sunshine as we have this kind of brightness today, making the bittersweet a bit sweeter.  We who knew him pause now and give thanks for his life and legacy.  May he rest in peace. 

Private family services and burial were held on Monday, February 26, 2024 in Chalmers Cemetery.

Springer-Voorhis-Draper Funeral Home of Monticello, Indiana was entrusted with care.

Friends and family are encouraged to share a photo, a memory, or messages of condolence at www.springervoorhisdraper.com 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James P. Gillies, please visit our flower store.


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