Cletus O. Gilson

May 08, 1929 - June 30, 2024

Visitation: Friday, July 5, 2024, 2-4, 6-8 pm; Devlin Funeral Home, North Hills

Service: Saturday, July 6, 2024, 10:30 am; Divine Redeemer Parish, St. Mary's Church

Cletus Oliver Gilson, Jr. (Clete), aged 95, passed away peacefully on June 30, 2024, surrounded by his loving family. He was born on May 8, 1929, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Cletus Oliver Gilson and Mary Wilson Gilson.

Clete was a dedicated husband to his beloved wife, Frances Makray Gilson. He was a loving father to his four children: Palma Jean (John) Sheehan, Michele (Jerry) Kollig, Christopher (Janet) Gilson, and Shawn (Diane) Gilson. Clete was also a cherished Pop-Pop to Jack and Tracey Vaughan, Christopher (Stephanie) Gilson, Matthew (Alana) Gilson, Courtney (Andrew) Rubin, Ryan (Micheala) Gilson, Jason Gilson, Erin (Joel) O’Connor, Emily (Sam) Papa, Elizabeth (Brandon) Sheehan, and Matthew (Lisa) Sheehan, as well as a great-grandfather to eleven beautiful children who always brightened his day. Clete is also survived by his sister, Mary Lee Figueroa, special friends Marty and Frannie Avery, Mark and Amber Hauger, Bryce Hauger, nephew Zachary Makray, and his caregiver Janet Henry. Clete leaves a legacy of many nieces, nephews, cousins, and cherished friendships. In addition to his parents, Clete was preceded in death by his wife Ruth Palma Gilson, his sister Nancy Gilson Waldier, and his mother-in-law Frances Makray Hayden.

Clete graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. In 1964, he founded Gilson Engineering Sales, Inc., which continues to thrive with a legacy of devoted employees.

Known for his kindness, generosity, integrity, and unwavering devotion to family and friends, Clete enjoyed golfing as a member of Sewickley Heights Golf Club and John’s Island Club in Vero Beach, Florida.

Family and friends are welcome on Friday from 2-4, 6-8 pm at Devlin Funeral Home, 806 Perry Hwy., North Hills. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday 10:30 am at Divine Redeemer Parish, St  Mary’s Church

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to one of the following charities:

Hope For Families Center Inc., 720 4th Street, Vero Beach, Florida 32962 (772-567-5537)
Allegheny Health Network Healthcare@Home Hospice, 200 Allegheny Drive, Suite 201, Warrendale, Pennsylvania 15086, Attn: Donations

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Guest Book Signatures


    Dear Fran Chris, Shawn and family, I was sad to hear of Clete’s passing.
    Normand, who recently passed in December always enjoyed his phone calls with Clete over the years and also our visits with Clete and Fran in Vero. May you all have memories for comfort. Sincerely, Judy Poisson

  • Karen Ackerman

    Dear Fran. I am so sorry for your loss. Although I only worked at Gilson for three years in the 90s, I have wonderful memories of you, Clete and the great staff. Wishing you lovely memories to always comfort you.
    You are in my prayers,

  • Josephine Faso

    Dear Fran ,so sorry for your loss. He was always a gentleman. Josephine and Sal.

  • Duke Habernickel

    With Greatest friendship and respect, we had such nice times together !

  • Suzanne and Lee Bertman

    Cleve and Fran have been friends in Vero Beach for over 20 years. Clete was a lovely man interested in making his community a better place. He was quietly generous. He endured back problems for years, rarely complaining and just wanted to be able to play golf, He was devoted to Fran ,his beautiful wife, as she was to him. The world will miss his principled ann exemplary life. He was a model for all of us.

  • Higgs George

    Clete was a great golf mate for many years and a deadly putter. He will be missed by all of his buddies in our Saturday game

  • John Kean

    Clet will be greatly missed by all of his neighbors at John’s island for his spirit and sportsmanship as we played many rounds of golf together

  • Dan and Mary Jane Somers

    Dear Fran our heartfelt condolences on the death of Clete. He was a true gentleman and we were honored to know him. We’re so sorry for your loss.

  • Joan H Decrane

    We will miss Clint’s happy at all the Notre Dame functions and going by your house on our daily walks. He was a wonderful person and a good man.

  • Claire Evans

    My deepest sympathy to all the family may the Lord comfort you, as you grieve the loss of your dad

  • Dolly McDonald

    I began working at Gilson Engineering at the age of 17 and retired 43 years later. Mr. Gilson taught me man valuable lessons that have carried me through the years. He was honest, fair and kind and will be missed. We are grateful that he was a part of our life. With sympathy & prayers,

    Dolly & Dan


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