Mark J. Gilligan, 94, passed away on Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 at his home. He was born in Tyrone, on April 4th, 1920. Mark was the 11th of 12 children born to Edward and Clotilde Kingston Gilligan. He was preceded in death by all of his siblings, a young daughter, Susan Marie Gilligan, and an infant grandson, Evan Thomas Gilligan.
Mark graduated in 1939 from State College High School where he was a member of the first State High wrestling team. After graduation, he joined the Army and fought in WWII. There he was a Staff Sergeant and a Sharpshooter. He earned the American Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, and European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. Mark was Honorably Discharged in 1945.
He married Shirley Kline on May 18, 1946. For 6 years they owned and operated Mark’s Pero’s Dairy Store located on Nittany Avenue by Memorial Field in State College. Mark was then employed by Sears Roebuck and Company as a salesman in home improvement. He retired from Sears in 1982. Mark was a lifetime member of Our Lady of Victory Church, a member of the Knights of Columbus, and the VFW Club 5825 of Pine Grove Mills. He was an avid Penn State supporter and attended numerous Penn State wrestling events and football games.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Shirley Kline Gilligan, who resides at home. Also surviving are two sons, Michael M. Gilligan and his wife, Antoinette, of Cambridge, Ma., and Thomas Gilligan and his wife, Susan, of State College, and four grandchildren, Bradford Gilligan of Cambridge Ma., Amber Gilligan and her husband, Matt Garrison, of Columbia, Md., Ashlynne Gilligan of Medford, Ma., and Eden Gilligan of State College, along with many nieces, nephews, extended family and dear friends.
Friends will be received at Koch Funeral Home on Friday, June 27, 2014 from 6:00pm till 8:00pm. There will be a funeral mass on Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:30am at Our Lady of Victory Church with Father Val Bradley officiating. Burial will follow at Centre County Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions be made in Mark’s memory to, The Penn State Wrestling Club P.O. Box 1103, State College, PA. 16804, Centre County PAWS Animal Shelter 1401 Trout Rd., State College, Pa. 16801 or Our Lady of Victory Church 820 Westerly Parkway, State College, Pa. 16801
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.