Homer, Alaska resident and Alaska pioneer, Ann Carolyn (Condra) Gillas, 78, went to her eternal rest on 6 April 2008 in Galveston, Texas. She was born in Vancouver, Washington, 19 February 1930, to James M. Condra and Veronica Fay Brophy.
Ann Carolyn (Condra) Gillas
J. Levy & Termini Funeral Home
On 23 September 1950, Ann married Robert J. Gillas, the eldest of 13 children. In 1956, the young couple drove the Alaska Highway in a pickup truck with a homemade camper on the back and settled for a time in Anchorage. In 1960 they homesteaded 14 miles east of Homer. Their son, Joe was born in 1961. Bob and Ann built their log home with trees he harvested and milled by himself before they had electricity. Over the years, they built up a garden farm and greenhouse business, best known for their potatoes and radishes (“Homer apples”). Their farming business was known though out the state and even had west coast and international customers. Bob and Ann retired in the mid 90's to enjoy traveling though out the USA and other parts of the world. Ann was an avid bird watcher and it was her favorite pastime.
Ann was a member of Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church, American Legion Post 16, Elks Lodge, Ladies Auxiliary of the BPOE No. 2127 and the Pioneers of Alaska Igloo No. 32.
Due to declining health and to be near her family she relocated to assisted care facility in Texas City, TX. Even though she missed Homer and friends, she did enjoy her family and the warm weather. A couple of days prior to her passing she was at the harbor in Galveston viewing the pelicans and informing passing tourists about the feeding/mating habits of the local pelicans.
Ann was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Robert (Bob) Gillas, infant children Mary and Robby. She is survived by her son, Joe; daughter-in-law, Billie Rae; and grandson, James Gillas; all of Galveston, Texas, as well as many friends in Homer.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Homer Catholic Women’s Guild. The address is 255 Ohlson Lane, Homer, AK 99603.
The following quote is from Ann's personal journal right after they moved to the new cabin at the homestead land in 1960
10/14/1960 Kachemak Bay,Alaska
"I have never tried to write or put a thought of this kind on paper before, but now when there is time and quiet I am going to try.
Tonight is the kind of night that only happens at infrequent intervals in a lifetime.
The utter peace is impossible to describe at least for me. There is a chill in the air, but not enough to be unpleasant and crisp edge is exhilarating and exciting in a strange way. The sky is a blanket of stars behind the black outlines of space. It is so quiet you can hear the water gurgling in the spring and an old hootie owl is having his say on the other side of the ravine. Even Sammy (German Shepard dog) laying here beside me with his head on my feet seems to enjoy it, from his long sighs and whimpers. I could never convey the sense of peace that comes over me as I sit here, but I think this is the world as God meant it to be. If only more people could enjoy the feeling, smell this freshness and see the beautiful stars in the cloak of the heavens we could all be at peace with ourselves and each other."