Joe Gililland

Profile Updated: July 1, 2022
Class Year: 1973
Residing In: Alexandria, VA USA
Spouse/Partner: Marianne Gililland
Occupation: Retired - Former Navy Contractor - Project Manager at Alion Science
Children: Sandy, born 1987 and Dave, born 1991
Comments:

I still live in Alexandria - and even closer to the old school than when we went there. I keep in touch with a ton of Federals. I've worked in downtown DC, Crystal City and near the Navy Yard for the past 30+ years - telecommunications, then Navy work. Marianne and I have been married since 1982 and celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary in September 2020....time is flying. Our married daughter is a nurse in Durham, NC and our married son followed our footsteps to Radford University and now works in IT Sales and lives with his wife in Front Royal, VA.

School Story:

I was a quiet observer at FHHS, although close friends saw my other side. I did Crew for three years and joined a few small clubs, but mostly it was Friday night activity that I remember the best; football games, McDonalds, cruising nowhere and listening to Jethro Tull on 8-Track.

Lunch breaks from our "Open Campus" were classic and I loved piling as many guys as I could into my '65 Buick LeSabre. I think 7 was the record. I loved that car....crashed it.....fixed it...and crashed it again. That's why I never yelled at my son when he crashed his car.....fixed it.....crashed his car.

FOOTNOTE: At the Summer Reunion of 2013, I mentioned to Mr. Timothy Barr, Assistant Vice Principal when I attended, about how we appreciated the "Open Campus" of '71/'72/'73, he said "What Open Campus? You guys were just sneaking out!".

How often do you get back to Alexandria?

Proud to say that I never left. I've been to prettier places, but none that felt as good as 'home'.

Do you still see/talk to/hang out with any classmates? Who?

Dick Alderson, Jeff DeMuro, Lee Gravatte, Joe Houston, Dave FlorCruz, Robert Hines, Rick Genuario and Richard McFarland are guys that I see often and many are still in the area. Boat Salke moved to Miami, but we keep up. I see dozens of Federals at the various reunions - great way to keep up.

What are your memories of high school (i.e. secret crush, embarrassing moment, funniest thing you did in high school, favorite high school hang out, favorite teachers)?

Great memories. I think the teachers were fair, the girls were pretty and the after school & weekend activities were the best. There were great parties to be found, and when they couldn't be found you could just cruise the neighborhoods or drive the Parkway. A big stack of close friends really helped me enjoy my years at FHHS.

Biggest thing you would do differently if you went back to your time at high school?

The best four years of my non-adult life. I wouldn't change a thing!

We enjoyed many of the nice things that grown-ups enjoyed (cars, girls, social life, fun events and parties) without the baggage of actually being a grown-up (jobs, mortgages and .......responsibility). Stay up until 6 a.m? Sure, why not? What a blast.

Joe's Latest Interactions

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Joe Gililland has left an In Memory comment for Phillip Theodore Wiggins.
May
13
May 13, 2024 at 2:50 PM

Click on the link towards the bottom of the obituary "Watch Phil Wiggins Performance" for an amazing opening performance by Phil and his band, as well as an interesting on-stage interview. 

I remember Phil from the hallways of FHHS and in Stratford on the Potomac where his family lived.  As a super-talented musician, Phil became known as "A National Treasure" for his mastery of the Blues harmonica and Blues music.  

Mar
31
Mar 31, 2024 at 12:18 PM
Joe Gililland has left an In Memory comment for H. James "Jim" Reosti.
Mar
10
Mar 10, 2024 at 10:31 AM

POSTED BY BRIAN HOPKINS - FRIEND OF JIM

It is with a very heavy heart that I pass along '77 class member and my very good friend and friend to many of you, H. James Reosti, was called home by the Lord on March 3, 2024.

His daughter Nicole posted arrangements on FB at https://www.facebook.com/share/p/PpCVYqmEvMyrSdEL/?mibextid=oFDknk. Until I see you again Jim, much love to you buddy.

Joe Gililland added a comment on his Profile.
Mar
04
Mar 04, 2024 at 11:29 AM
Joe Gililland has left an In Memory comment for Robert Mark "Bobby" Richards.
Feb
22
Feb 22, 2024 at 4:26 PM

Mike - Thanks for the post.  Bobby was such a nice guy which was so opposite of his on-field attitude. 

At 5'9", he might have been considered small-ish, but would YOU want to mess with this??  LOL! 

 

Joe Gililland has left an In Memory comment for Michael Nicholas Bakarich III.
Jan
01
Jan 01, 2024 at 2:17 PM

John Bakarich has provided a photo of the family headstone in Arlington National Cemetery. 

Posted below:

 

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Oct
26
Oct 26, 2023 at 3:12 PM
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Sep
27
Sep 27, 2023 at 1:48 PM
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Sep
12
Sep 12, 2023 at 12:26 PM
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Sep 12, 2023 at 12:25 PM
Joe Gililland has left an In Memory comment for Michael Nicholas Bakarich III.
Aug
24
Aug 24, 2023 at 1:40 PM

* This very thoughtful write-up was submitted by John Bakarich, Michael Bakarich's younger brother - I copied and pasted his words into this "In Memory" post.

- Joe Gililland, FHHS '73

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is a follow-up to my offering my thanks to those who very kindly shared their thoughts regarding my brother Michael Nicholas Bakarich, III, who passed away just a few weeks from graduating with the Fort Hunt High School Class of 1972.

First, I wish to thank my brother's friend who shared her memories of speaking with my brother about both the present and the future, including his plans to attend Arizona State University and, in general, to turn around his life. Given the times, with drug use and rebellion common to most high school teens, I did not know my brother well even years before his passing away. Our significant age difference at the time, with my being a 7th grade student at Stephen Foster Junior High School and his being a senior at FHHS simply exacerbated our differences and unwillingness or inability to communicate in a civil fashion.

For example, I did not know him to be thoughtful, intelligent, witty and kind, or anxious and concerned about his future. At the time I simply knew him as someone who entertained himself by slapping me around when neither of my parents were around. I appreciate knowing that there was this other side to him and one which his classmates enjoyed. Apparently, he was quite special in a way which not readily visible to me.

I extend my special thanks to the woman who shared her experiences and who was a good friend of my brother and who appreciated her time with him. I wish I had receive more time to truly get to know that side of him. Regarding he who shared his understanding of the vehicle accident in which my brother was the front seat passenger, I also thank you for sharing your memories. They very much complement my own memories and, in so doing, provide me with a more complete picture of how he died.

As far as my memories, I simply recall being awakened in the middle of a particular night by my oldest sister, and her simply saying "Michael has died." I could not believe it, could not comprehend it. That night at some point I fell asleep for at least a few hours. When I awoke I looked outside and saw Michael's pale blue Volkswagen Karmann Ghia convertible, which he had recently purchased. It was his pride and joy, and parked in the front of our house at 1117 Priscilla Lane, in the Waynewood subdivision. In my seeing this I concluded that I simply had experienced a nightmare in being told that he had died in a car crash.

Later, in my going down to the kitchen, I did learn the truth. I was told that he had joined a friend who had only recently received from his father a classic MG convertible, which was his high school graduation present. I imagined that alcohol may have been involved, though I was later told such was not the case. Instead, I was told the driver, a friend of his at FHHS, had been going into a turn at excessive speed and had lost control of his MG sports car. I was also informed that the driver, in being thrown from the MG suffered only minor cuts and bruises. I did not learn that he had been thrown into bushes and was actually walking and speaking with those who were the first to arrive after the accident.

Someone, and I cannot recall whom, mentioned that the MG had hit a telephone pole and that my brother suffered very severe and irreparable brain trauma in being launched out of the vehicle and his head hitting the telephone pole. I doubt that old MG even had seat lap belts. That night the police called my parents, and my father and just one or two of my oldest siblings drove to the hospital to which Michael and been taken. My father was told that my brother was comatose and brain dead, and that he had no chance of recovery. Further, the neurologists and other specialists were advising that he be taken off of life support and be allowed to die.

I still cannot imagine how difficult a decision this must have been for my father and mother. What Michael’s friends and even I didn’t know at that time, though I accidentally found out when I was 21 years old, was that Michael was the first born biological child of my parents. As the first boy, he was named after my father and Michael’s grandfather.

When my parents were married on December 31, 1952, my mother was divorced and had given birth to three girls whom my father adopted as his own children. They are my half-sisters, but Michael was their first born child. My parents subsequently adopted four more children.

At some point many years after Michael’s death, my mother told me my father stayed in their bedroom for three days and cried continuously. She said it was the first and only time she had seen him cry. My mother required psychiatric treatment, including various prescription medications such as valium, to simply be able to survive the lost of just not a child, but the first born child of her marriage to my father. How my father and mother survived such a tragedy remains quite difficult for me to comprehend.

Shortly after Michael’s death, and quite unfortunately, the Army had given my father orders to move to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which is the home of the 82nd Airborne Division. My father was a Master Parachutist, which is a very unique and special designation for someone who has completed 65 parachute jumps and who has been trained in making sure those other parachutists on a plane properly complete their jumps.

This allowed no time for my parents to keep Michael’s bedroom at it was, as we all had to pack up and leave 1117 Priscilla Lane. We stayed at Fort Bragg for just six months, then moved to the Panama Canal Zone for six months, and then moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania (the home of the Army War College) for one year. It was that one year in Carlisle, Pennsylvania which one of those who had written a post talked of visiting my family, which was so thoughtful a gesture is defies my being able to properly describe it with mere words.

Regarding another person (a woman) who wrote that she had seen that MG sports car mangled around a tree and that she had prayed for the family and friends of anyone who was injured and killed, I simply offer my sincere thanks. You went out of your way to share your heartfelt sorrow and prayers to those family members who had lost a dear family member, even though you did not know the victim or his family. That means a great deal to me.

As to that which happened subsequently, my family moved to South Korea and stayed for four years, during which my father was promoted to Brigadier General of the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division, then located at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas.

After that, they moved to any Army base in San Francisco. It was called the Presidio of San Francisco and was the headquarters of the Sixth U.S. Army (it has since been vacated, though many building remain intact). Next, my father retired from the Military became an executive for Entergy Corporation (headquarted in Louisiana, though my parents lived in Vicksburg, MS). He retired in his early 70’s, upon which both he and my mother operated an antique doll and toy Museum in the historic section of Vicksburg. My mother passed away in October 2014, and my father passed away at age 90 in July 2018.

My brother Michael and my mother and my father are buried at Arlington National Cemetery. If you simply google “Arlington National Cemetery Grave Locator” you’ll be directed to a link which you can simply click and then type in our last name. You will then see a picture of their headstone with their names and dates of birth and death. Under my brother’s name you will see a verse from the bible: “This is my son, in whom I am well pleased.”

- Written by John Bakarich, Michael's younger brother in August 2023

Joe Gililland added a comment on his Profile.
Aug
13
Aug 13, 2023 at 10:06 PM
Joe Gililland has left an In Memory comment for his Profile.
Aug
10
Aug 10, 2023 at 10:00 PM

Mary, that was a very touching write-up about your sister.  I know that the Nottinghams have lost several siblings, including one of my classmates, Jack.  Our condolences to you and your whole family.  I'm sure your big sister will always be there for you in spirit...keep asking for her advice and support  - she'll supply it to you - just listen. 

Joe Gililland has a birthday today.
Jul
24
Jul 24, 2023 at 4:33 AM
Joe Gililland has left an In Memory comment for Richard "Dickie" Andrews.
Jul 10, 2023 at 8:14 PM

....adding the recently found obituary for Dickie from the Washington Post in 2008.

Joe Gililland added a comment on his Profile.
Apr 10, 2023 at 12:33 PM
Joe Gililland has left an In Memory comment for Willis Young.
Jan 10, 2023 at 9:48 PM

Below is the message sent to us from Ashley Young, Will Young's daughter December of 2022:

Hi there!

My dad, Will Young, was a teacher there until it closed down. I randomly stumbled upon this page right now bc he and his friends popped into my head tonight. He taught social studies there and his best friends were Mr. Pierotti, Mr Davies, and Mr Perreault. They all met there as young teachers and remained best friends their whole lives. I see a few people comment on my dad's profile and that makes me so happy.

I was wondering if I would be able to create a login for myself to use this site, in honor of my dad - who died in 2007 from a sudden and massive heart attack after walking the dog, getting ready for school in the morning. He was still a teacher! I would like to add a photo of him to his profile and post some things I have of his from Fort Hunt in the forum. (Editor's Note: Website access provided to Ashley January 2023)

As someone who is too young to have been a student there, I’d love to know what made this school so special to everyone. I’ve never heard ppl talk about a school the way everyone talks about Fort Hunt, including my dad. It must’ve been a fun time :)

Sincerely,

Ashley Young, daughter of Will Young, Fort Hunt High School teacher

Joe Gililland has left an In Memory comment for Medora Frances Abbott.
Sep 20, 2022 at 11:30 PM

FROM MEDORA'S SISTER, LIZ ON FACEBOOK:

It is with great sadness to share the news my gorgeous, talented, wonderful sister passed away today after a long illness. She worked at DOD with top secret clearance, flying on Air Force One for many years, until a brain aneurysm changed her life forever. She loved her friends, family and most of all God. She spoke of angels and Heaven quite often. My heart is broken because I'll miss her so much. But I know she's happy now and without pain. Fly free my darling sister, you can look down on us now. I miss you so much and will see you again ????????????????????

Joe Gililland has a birthday today.
Jul 24, 2022 at 4:33 AM
Joe Gililland added a photo to his profile gallery.
Jul 01, 2022 at 3:26 PM
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Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Ran into Mr. Barr's son, Chris, out in Moab, Utah about 3 miles deep into a creek canyon in June of 2012. He runs a repelling school for climbers. We never met him before and he laughed when the connection was made.
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 12:49 AM