Richard James Gillette, Sr. was born in Liberal Kansas on July 27, 1935 to Bertha and Herbert Gillette. He graduated from Mark Keppel High School in July of 1953 and married LaJuana Gibson on August 1, 1953. He passed away from heart failure on September 26, 2020.
He worked as a General Contractor building custom homes until 1983 when he moved to Taft and started work in the oil fields, building new pipelines and doing maintenance work on oil leases.
Richard is survived by his wife of 67 years, LaJuana Gillette; his two sons, William Herbert and Richard James, Jr.; four grandchildren, William Parker, Suzanne Huminik , Jessica Gillette Swenson, Becky Brookshire; and 8 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his grandson, Richard James Gillette, III.
Richard started a new VFW in Maricopa, California and served many years as the Commander and Quartermaster. He earned white hats in both positions. He was a member of the Eagles, American Legion, Elks, and a lifetime member of the VFW. He loved his Desert tortoises and had a tortoise hotel in his back yard. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was warm and generous with his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.
Grave side Services will be held, at 2:00PM on Friday November 26th. Location: the Bakersfield National Cemetery, 30338 E. Bear Mountain Blvd, Arvin, CA