Carl Gillis has had a few careers in his 80 plus years, including flying fighter jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Cuban missile crisis in the 1960s. He and his wife Joan were stationed in Germany at the height of that global crisis, in 1962. Since then, they’ve lived and worked in Montreal, farmed near Gray, Saskatchewan and are now enjoying their retirement years in their home overlooking the scenic golf course in Avonlea, about 80 km southwest of Regina.
As Carl recalls, their love story started when he drove Joan home from a party, one evening in 1957. From there, wedding bells weren’t far off, and the rest is history. He and Joan will celebrate their 61st wedding anniversary in November, 2023.
In recent years, both Carl and Joan have encountered health issues, after a lifetime of nothing more than minor illnesses. These experiences have only served to reinforce their decision to invest in local health care by becoming monthly donors to Hospitals of Regina Foundation more than ten years ago.
“Supporting the Foundation was an easy decision for us,” says Joan. “We support a number of causes, but in this case, we wanted to ensure the best possible health care is available for us and for future generations, including our children (two), grandchildren (two) and now great-grandkids (four). We give what we can, because every little bit helps.”
“It comes from a very simple philosophy,” Carl explains. “We were raised to be community-minded, and we’ve tried to instill that in our daughters and their families. Simply put, if you can help others, you just do it. And that’s exactly what we’re doing through our support of the Foundation. And with monthly donations, it’s just so simple and affordable.”
“We’ve both had our challenges as we’ve gotten older, including battling cancer in recent years,” Joan continues. “But for the most part we’ve been lucky. Still, we’re glad to support the Foundation so that they can make sure the best care is available for everyone, including our family and friends.”
The Foundation is so grateful for the monthly support by Carl and Joan, and all of our regular donors. Thanks to their generosity, we can invest in leading-edge technology and equipment for Regina’s hospitals, ensuring people in southern Saskatchewan have access to the best possible health care, whenever they need it, right here at home.