It seems like I has jus’ reconnected with him through Facebook, and now he’s gone. Though only a couple of years older than me, Dan Gilliland passed away in Sacramento, California on September 15, 2017.
Sharing the same birth date, Dan was born on July 20, 1958 in Grand Island, Nebraska, two-years before me. Known by everyone, including teacher’s as ‘Dan-the-Man,’ we attended Del Norte County High School, together in Crescent City, California.
It was while in high school, that Dan attained the rank of Eagle Scout, where he was a member of Order of The Arrow and became involved in the Indian Dance Team. He also received his private pilot license while in high school.
One of my favorite memories is watching Dan – never fearful of the crowd – prance around during a high school assembly wearing women’s undergarments. That was in his junior year, and even after all these years, I find myself laughing at his antics, though I cannot recall why he did this.
Following graduation in 1976, Dan went to Shasta Community College in Redding, California and later Keene State College, in Keene, New Hampshire. Being a man of both the East Coast and West Coast, it wasn’t surprising to learn that Dan was both a licensed fishing guide in Maine and California.
Dan moved to Gray, Maine, opening his own insurance company and a restaurant called ‘The Pizza Paddle.’ Eventually, he returned to California, where he found work with the U.S. government as a loan officer for disaster relief with the Small Business Administration.
He’s survived by his son Daniel Gilliland Jr., and his wife Cara, granddaughter Gwendolyn and soon to be born Teagan, daughter Allison Candage in Florida, parents John and Jan Gilliland of Rockland, Maryland as well as brothers, Tom, James and Joe, sisters Cathy Gilliland, Nancy Johnson and Donna Feener.