Mae Gilles

Mae Marie Gilles, age 83, resident of Hager City, WI, passed away Monday, March 7, 2022 at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Red Wing, MN.

Mae was born September 25, 1938 to parents Arthur and Anna (Meyers) Gwilt in Red Wing, MN. She met Calvin Gilles in her teen years and the two were married July 9, 1955 at the Little Brown Church in the Vale in Nashua, IA. Calvin and Mae enjoyed dancing and roller skating together, as well as traveling to many different parts of the country in their car. In their 66 plus years of marriage, they were blessed with 3 children: Joel, Debra, and Ann.

Mae loved being a mother and was always very involved with her children’s activities.  When her daughters were in girl scouts, she helped the pack by taking on the role of a scout leader. She was also active in her faith and would help with youth groups at the Methodist church. When Calvin raced stock cars, Mae was the one in charge of the “pit crew,” making sure each family member knew their role between racing nights, hers being cleaning the carburetor. As much as she loved being a mother, she absolutely loved being a grandmother and spending time with each of her grandkids and great-grandkids.

Mae enjoyed being around people and kids. She had a way of making others feel safe, which made her the perfect fit for her job as a school bus driver.  Mae began her career as a bus driver in the 1960’s, before school buses were around.  She picked up kids in her personal vehicle and made sure they made it to school, through snow or wind, she got them there safely. She loved her job and seeing the kids smiles every day. She was employed through the Prescott School Community for over 42 years!

Mae will remain in the hearts of her husband, Calvin; children, Debra (Mike K.) Schubert, and Ann (Ben) Beil; grandchildren, Calvin (Alexis) Beil, Cathy (James) Beil, Allison Beil, Aaron Beil, Michael (Sarah) Swisher, Elizabeth Weaver, Jonathon Gilles, Amanda Gilles and step grandchild, Alisa (Lucas) Beil; 8 great-grandkids; siblings, Jonathon (Mary) Gwilt and Austin (Bonnie) Gwilt; sister-in-law, Margaret (Jerry) Schmitz; brother-in-law Kenny Gilles; many nieces, nephews, other extended family, and friends.

Mae is preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Anna Gwilt; son Joel Gilles; siblings, Sigrid “Jim” Gwilt, Rosie (Chuck) Matzek, Arthur “Sonny” (Margaret) Gwilt, and Avery (John) Hayes; sister-in-law, Barbara (Duwayne) Hougo; and brothers-in-law, Richard Gilles, and Edward (Carol) Gilles.

Funeral services for Mae will be held 11:00 am Saturday, March 12, 2022 at O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Ellsworth, WI. Visitation will take place one-hour prior at the funeral home. Burial will be at a later date at the Diamond Bluff Cemetery.  Services entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of Ellsworth.


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