Deon Erick GillenApril 22, 1998 ~ February 14, 2016 (age 17)
Deon Erick Gillen, 17, of Livingston, left this world too soon Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016.
Viewing will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 110 W. Summit St. The funeral service will be held Saturday, 2 p.m., also at the Church. A reception will follow the service at the church. All are welcome.
Deon Erick Gillen, named for his father, grandfather and great grandfather, was born on April 22, 1998, in Elko, Nevada, to Elliott and Tiffany (Cunningham) Gillen. Deon had a heart too big for this world and was taken from us too soon Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016.
Deon spent his first years with Elliott and Tiffany in northern Nevada, and there became the big brother to his Sis and forever best friend, Katie. The two were inseparable for much of their early years.
After Elliott and Tiffany divorced, Deon and Katie lived for a short time with Tiffany and their grandma Norma in Spring, Texas. In August of 2002, they moved to Montana with Elliott and his soon to be wife, Sara, who they named their “Sleepy.”
Deon was a miner’s son and the family soon moved back to Nevada. There, his brother Layne was born, and Deon became mentor, protector and best buddy to his “Bubba.”
The family lived in Nevada for seven years, the majority and best part spent in the old town of Lee. Lee was Paradise for kids and Deon loved the lambs, chicks, turkeys, bum steers, mud, “crick” fishing, gardening, bike riding, neighborhood potlucks, fort building and tree climbing. There he became right-hand man to landlord, and soon pal, John Bland.
In 2010, the Gillen’s moved to Montana to be closer to family. Deon loved hunting and camping with his dad and uncles, deer tackling with his Sis, and fishing with his brother, buddy Jeromy and cousins. He was quick to volunteer wherever he could and loved community activities. Deon made friends far and wide. He really loved people.
In 2011, Deon joined Blitzkrieg wrestling and it, and the people involved, quickly became part of his family. He loved wrestling and excelled at it — always giving it his all and never giving up. Being a buddy to the younger kids was something he took a lot of joy in, and the guidance and support he got from the older kids and coaches meant a great deal to him.
With the guidance of a neighbor friend, Deon started a small garden and found great comfort and peace in the work involved. With his patient attention and gentle nurturing, the seedlings he started in his room every spring and soon took up most of the yard in the summer. Deon delighted in sharing the fruits of his labor and few left during harvest time without carrots, peas, lettuce or tomatoes.
In 2015, Deon’s family was added to with stepmom Stefanie and her beautiful daughter Lily. Deon absolutely loved and embraced the new additions to his life and took great pride in teaching Lily to ride her bike.
He will be dearly and truly missed by all.
Deon was preceded in death by his grandfather Erick Deon Gillen and his grandmother Margaret Baker.
He is survived by his father, Elliott Deon Gillen and his wife, Stefanie, of Livingston; mother Sara Duffy Gillen, of Livingston; siblings Katlyn, Layne and Lily Gillen, of Livingston; great-grandparents Bill and Wilma Wilkins, of Billings; grandparents Vicki (Spencer) Nielson, of Delta, Utah, Ron Baker of Nevada, Phil and Terri Lawson, of Camano Island, Washington, Dusty Cunningham, of Nevada, and Norma Perdomo, of Texas. He is also survived by uncles and aunts Teresa (Shawn) Lawlis, Warren (Peg) Baker, Shane Baker, Zane (Marcy) Baker, Cullen (Katyra) Baker, Justin (Emily) Duffy, Megan (Jason) Asher, Jim (Debbie) Ridings, Jeremy (Shauna) Wallace and Luke Lovell; cousins Jesse, Ashleigh and Justin Lawlis, Alivia and Ella Duffy, Elton Burns, VaLora and James Thiry, and Preston, Triston, Terrance, Shayna, Alex, Max, Haley, Hayden, Hillary, Hannah and Zack Baker.
Memorials may be sent to The Deon Gillen Memorial Fund c/o Bank of the Rockies, 1203 W. Park St., Livingston, MT 59047. This fund will go to Blitzkrieg Wrestling to make sure any child who wants to wrestle can.
Arrangements are under the care of Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory. Online condolences may be shared at www.franzen-davis.com.