Family Login:

Elizabeth Seton  "Liza" Gillis

Elizabeth Seton "Liza" Gillis
  • November 12, 1963 - May 23, 2015
  • Battle Creek, Michigan
  • Evan Scholars Foundation
    One Briar Road
    Golf, IL 60029

Share This Obituary
Resources

Send Flowers
 Local Florists


Memories & Candles

“God saw you getting tired and a cure was not to beso he put his arms around you and whispered,Come to MeWith tearful eyes we watched youand saw you...Read More »
1 of 31 | Posted by: Hans Boersma - Rhede-Ems - friend

“Dear Josephine and family,We are all shocked to read in the Internet of Liz's passing! Our condolences to you Josephine and the family. We wish you...Read More »
2 of 31 | Posted by: Hans Boersma - Rhede-Ems

“The Gillis Family, Our sincere sympathy is extended to the whole family. What a tragic loss ,she loved and lived life to the fullest. She is now wit...Read More »
3 of 31 | Posted by: Judy Ciatti - Dearborn mi, MI

“Dear Josephine and family,Sending loving thoughts and prayers to you and your family at this difficult time. I recently heard of your daughter's...Read More »
4 of 31 | Posted by: Bob MacKay - Dartmouth, NS

“Last summer I met Liz for the first time as a guest in her home. She and Josephine will always remain an inspiration of what it means to live as a...Read More »
5 of 31 | Posted by: Anne MacDonald - Westland, MI

“Josephine, I am sending my heartfelt condolences on the death of your daughter, Liza. Reading the obituary I see s he lived a full life even...Read More »
6 of 31 | Posted by: Hughena(Walker) McDaniel

“May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief. ”
7 of 31 | Posted by: A friend

“I am so saddened and shocked to hear of Liz's passing! While at the Evans scholars House Liz was always cheerful and sweet! Her eyes and smile were...Read More »
8 of 31 | Posted by: Andy Kalajian - Atlanta, GA

“What a bundle of enthusiasm and spirit. Liz was so vibrant in her dealings with me and others. I'll never forget how important she made me feel when...Read More »
9 of 31 | Posted by: Pat Fox - East Leroy, MI - friend

“Josephine, my heart aches for you. I will treasure the day when we came to visit Gus and spent the day with you and Liza. I recognized in a few short...Read More »
10 of 31 | Posted by: Brenda MacDougall Belanger - MI

“Liz went home to see her dad Gus. What a blessing she has been to all those who had the honor to know her. She touched the lives of so many people....Read More »
11 of 31 | Posted by: Carlos Fontana - East LeRoy, MI

“Dear Margaret,Please know that my heart and thoughts are with you and your family as you face this most difficult time. I feel as though I know...Read More »
12 of 31 | Posted by: Trinee Moore - Detroit, MI

“The Life you brought into this world will never be diminished. Our condolences to the Gillis family. ”
13 of 31 | Posted by: Donald, Cindy Rem - South Branch, MI

“I met my cousin Liza while visiting her and her mom Josephine at their home last summer. She was so pleasant, and gracious to do so much to prepare a...Read More »
14 of 31 | Posted by: Daniel MacDonald - Wayne, MI

“My deepest sympathies to Liz's family for your loss. Liz had such a wonderful smile and laugh, it just lit up a room! I enjoyed working with Liz...Read More »
15 of 31 | Posted by: Julie Jursinic - Battle Creek, MI

“Thank you Liz for occupying a portion of my life. ”
16 of 31 | Posted by: Paul Nowaczyk - Portage, MI

“My condolences to the Gillis family. I was unaware of Liz's battle with cancer. She was always a sweet, unassuming and playful person during our...Read More »
17 of 31 | Posted by: Tim Hanson - Clawson, MI

“So sad to hear of the passing of Liz. I remember this quiet young lady when she first showed up at the MSU Evan's Scholar's house. It wasn't long...Read More »
18 of 31 | Posted by: Don "Ho" Davis - Cameron Park, CA

“My sympathies to the family. Liz was my boss a couple different times, a number of years ago. She was a wonderful and interesting person to be around...Read More »
19 of 31 | Posted by: Dave Emenhiser - Battle Creek, MI

“What I will remember best about Liz were the times that we talked at her desk or my desk after work. We would tell stories about work, home and life...Read More »
20 of 31 | Posted by: Natalie Schoch - Battle Creek, MI

“A beautiful person and a great friend. I feel so lucky to have known her. ”
21 of 31 | Posted by: Melissa Elliott - Johannesburg

“Liz accomplished much in her lifetime. She had a true impact on so many - because she was excellent in all that she did but even more important was...Read More »
22 of 31 | Posted by: Margaret Bath - Portage - Friend

“Sweet intelligent fascinating Liz! A tragic loss. Sincerest condolences. ”
23 of 31 | Posted by: Mary Z - Evan Scholar housemate

“RIP Liz. Will remember you 'Always'. Hang on to that Bermuda note for me 'till we meet again. ”
24 of 31 | Posted by: Swampman - Bermuda

“I was given the opportunity to get to know this wonderful woman via her involvement with several recruiting efforts at Kellogg. She was a joy to...Read More »
25 of 31 | Posted by: Jessica Robrahn - Battle Creek, MI

“Liz will always be remember because she was a complete and remarkable woman, with a beautiful smile in her face, with the right words for a friend...Read More »
26 of 31 | Posted by: Giovanna Hernandez - Battle Creek, MI

“Jo, Mimi, and Anne, How blessed we all are to have known and loved Liza. I will never forget her friendship and all the wonderful memories I have...Read More »
27 of 31 | Posted by: Myung Lohman - Battle Creek, MI

“My condolences to the family of Elizabeth. May the God of all comfort sustain you in your time of need. ”
28 of 31 | Posted by: Richard - UM

“We are sorry to learn of the passing of Elizabeth, but grateful for her service to our nation with the Peace Corps in Niger.Our Condolences,The...Read More »
29 of 31 | Posted by: A friend

“...Elizabeth, a precious treasure to her dad, mom, two sisters and, ultimately to her in-laws and her sisters' children. Throughout her suffering she...Read More »
30 of 31 | Posted by: Loretta M. MacDonald - Taylor,, MI

“Josephine, Ann, Mimi: I was so honored to know and love dear Lizzie. She was a wonderful friend, a true light in this world. What fun we had, making...Read More »
31 of 31 | Posted by: Loretta Gulley - Battle Creek, MI


Dove Emblem

Elizabeth Gillis
Battle Creek, Michigan

Elizabeth "Liza" Seton Gillis, 51, of Battle Creek, Michigan, died Saturday, May 23, 2015, following a battle with cancer. Liza was born November 12, 1963, in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, the daughter of Angus Francis Gillis and Mary Josephine (nee Beaton) Gillis.

Raised in Harper Woods, Liza was a 1981 graduate of Grosse Pointe North High School. She attended Michigan State University as an Evans Scholar, studying crop and soil sciences and agricultural engineering. After graduation, she joined the Peace Corps and was stationed in Niger, West Africa. There she built cement drinking water wells, introduced resilient crops and livestock, and developed a deep and lasting affection for the continent and its people.

Liza returned home to join The Kellogg Company where she worked 22 years in the W.K. Kellogg Institute for Food and Nutrition Research as an engineer and later an executive. She was well-known within the company for her efforts to mentor new employees and women in the sciences.

Liza was an avid reader, a hobby that fueled her imagination and wit. She loved learning about this world through National Geographic and Smithsonian magazines, but also enjoyed exploring other worlds through fantasy and science fiction literature. She re-wrote the endings to books that disappointed her and endlessly entertained family and friends with stories from her keen observations, many travels, and the books and movies she enjoyed. When she was young, a librarian challenged Liza to live her life as though it were the sequel to her favorite adventure, The Three Musketeers. This she did, from the wide range of interests she pursued to the many and varied friendships she cultivated.

Liza had a joyful, unassuming spirit that expressed itself in song and deed. She was an alto with the Battle Creek Community Chorus, where she loved to design and build the group's sets as much as be part of the performances. She enjoyed entertaining others, often hosting guests at her home. She once hosted an office Christmas dinner from her hotel room in Omaha, Nebraska -- the entire affair prepared in a toaster oven.

The gift of joy was at the heart of Liza's optimism and generosity. She believed anything was possible and selflessly gave of her time, talents and resources to make it so. For these reasons, she was a generous supporter of many charities and causes, most notably the Evans Scholars Foundation, St. Philip Catholic Church, and the Diocese of Kalamazoo where she was a member of The Bishop's Circle and served on the Diocesan Development Advisory Board.

Liza had a loving relationship with her family. She especially enjoyed playing the cool aunt to her nieces and nephew. She took the kids to interesting places and showered them with thoughtful and unique gifts and experiences. She remained close to her nephew in California by playing online games with him and his friends. She saw just how far she would go for him when she found herself shark cage diving among the Great Whites off the coast of South Africa. Liza traveled with her niece to Vancouver, British Columbia, to attend a week-long Supernatural fan convention because they were both avid followers of the long-running TV series. Trips to Disney World were "no holds barred" shopping excursions for princess dresses.

Liza is survived by her mother Mary Josephine; her sisters Anne (Thomas) Furlong and Margaret (Vittorio) Bruni; her nephew, Alec Furlong; and nieces, Josephine and Meredith Bruni. Her father, Angus, greeted her in heaven where he was waiting for her to hold the flashlight on another project.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated May 30th at St. Philip Roman Catholic Church in Battle Creek, Michigan. Liza is laid to rest next to her father on the Isle of Cape Breton in the Church of the Immaculate Conception cemetery, West Lake Ainslie, Nova Scotia, Canada.