Thomas A. Gillette Jr.

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 30, 2007

NORFOLK—Thomas A. Gillette Jr., 91, long time resident of Larrymore Lawns, died Nov. 29, 2007, at Westminster Canterbury in Virginia Beach, with his two devoted daughters at his side.

Mr. Gillette was born in Franklin to the late Thomas A. Gillette Sr. and Bessie Eley Gillette.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Frances Hundley Gillette and a sister, Helen Gillette Skidmore.

He graduated from Randolph-Macon College in 1939 and was an active “Old Guard” in the Alumni Association.

Affiliations included charter membership in The Cosmopolitan Club of Norfolk, Norfolk Sports Club, and life memberships in the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, The Retired Officers Association, the Naval Reserve Association, and Navy League of the United States.

He belonged to Franklin Congregational Christian Church and attended St. John’s United Methodist Church in Norfolk.

Known affectionately as Tom, T.A., Tommy, Papa and Daddyo, he was a retired Lt. Cmdr., USNR, and served on active duty during World War II and the Korean War. After the wars, he was a mortgage banker and FHA real estate appraiser.

Survivors include two daughters, Anne Gillette Murphy and husband Lex, Betty Gillette Evans and husband Buddy, all of Virginia Beach; three loving grandchildren, Brian Thomas Murphy and wife Katy of Groton, Conn., Gwendolyn Helen Murphy of San Diego, Calif. and Mallory Laine Evans of Las Vegas, Nev.; one great-granddaughter, Eleanor Caroline Murphy; and two brothers-in-law, Jack W. Hundley of Sedley and Jon J. Skidmore of Norfolk.

The family received friends Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. at Smith & Williams Funeral Home, Norview Chapel.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in St. John’s United Methodist Church conducted by the Revs. Clifford Whitlock and David Wade, burial was to follow at Poplar Spring Cemetery at 4 p.m.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Randolph-Macon College,

P.O. Box 5005, Ashland, VA 23005; St. John’s United Methodist Church, 2709 Glendale Ave., Norfolk, VA 23518; or Fellowship Fund, Westminster Canterbury, 3100 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.

To send tributes and to view Mr. Gillette’s permanent memorial, visit

The family would like to especially thank Faye Martinez, caregiver, and Westminster Canterbury for their loving devotion and support.