Robert "Bob" Gilligan
Friday 29th of May 1936 - Wednesday 2nd of June 2021
391 Southland Drive, Lexington, KY
Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church
601 Hill N Dale Road, Lexington, KY
Pax Christi Catholic Church Columbarium
4001 Victoria Way, Lexington, KY
A Memorial Mass for Bob Gilligan, 85, of Lexington, KY and formerly of Newark, Columbus and Sidney, OH will be celebrated June 12, 2021 at 10am at Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary Church with Rev. Dan Noll officiating. Interment will follow at the Pax Christi columbarium.
Robert Francis (Joseph) Gilligan died peacefully in his sleep in his 85th year on June 2 after battling Parkinson’s for several years. Known for his story telling skills, easy-going nature, cheerful disposition, sense of humor and devout faith he was beloved by all who knew him and he will be dearly missed.
The fifth of six children, he was born in Newark, OH on May 29, 1936. He enjoyed the family farm and working in the family grocery store “as soon as you could see over the counter” while attending Blessed Sacrament elementary school. He began his leadership development holding numerous class officer positions while in St. Francis de Sales High School – class president three out of four years, valedictorian and more.
Immediately after graduating he went to work for an insurance agency, then The Newark Stove Company working third shift (10:30-pm – 7:00-am). His commitment to hard work started when he picked up a second job delivering produce for Ghiloni & Sons, lifelong family friends and neighbors, from 8:00-am to noon – literally working more than 12 hours a day; he was not afraid of long or hard work.
In 1956 he began his career in the moving/storage and trucking business when joined his brother Carl working at The Phil Vogelmeier Company in Newark. He also joined The Ohio National Guard. In 1959, after serving his six months of active duty he returned to Vogelmeier only to be asked to open a branch office in Columbus, OH as part owner.
From 1960–1974 he owned and operated a successful moving company, Columbus Van and Storage, a franchise of Wheaton Van Lines. During this time he met the love of his life, his wife Nancy, on a blind date. They married in 1967. Son Paul was born a year later. Son Chris was born two years later.
In 1974 he began his long and successful relationship with the Long family going to work at General Highway Express in Columbus. He then opened an office in Sidney, OH – a town so small the best restaurant was a Bonanza! But a town the entire family grew to love and hated to leave.
In 1978 Paul Long Jr. (PJ) bought a trucking company in Lexington, KY and Bob went with him to run that operation. Eventually PJ returned to Columbus and wanted Bob to come with him. So starting in 1986 until he retired at the end of 2001 he worked in Columbus during the week and lived in Lexington on the weekends with his family.
He retired as Executive Vice President of The Connection Co. with 750 employees in four states.
He was active in every community he lived in especially with the Rotary, but also The Moose, The Elks, The YMCA, United Way, and St. Vincent de Paul, and the Woodpeckers.
In retirement he became known as “Pops” to his grandchildren. His days were filled with daily mass, watching UK sports, Reds baseball and Browns football. Saturday evenings he could be found at Rogers Restaurant. He would hold weekly coffee meetings at McDonalds with church friends. They became known as the ROMEOs (Really Old Men Eating Out), with matching sweatshirts. But most of all he enjoyed being a grandfather.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Nancy, son Paul (Debbie) Gilligan and their daughter Hannah and son Chris (Janet) and their children Anna Marie and Rob.
He was preceded in death by his parents Frank and Bernice Gilligan, brothers Richard, Joe, Carl and Tom and his sister Pat and numerous nieces and nephews who he loved dearly and always treasured their time together.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be made to Bluegrass Care Navigators (formerly Hospice), The Parkinson’s Foundation or the Mary Queen Building Fund.
I worked with Bob for 30 years during his time with the Long family. Bob was a good friend and we spoke often over the phone for years even after his retirement from the trucking business. I will miss talking with him. Bob was a kind and thoughtful man. Very proud of his children's accomplishments and his grandchildren as well. He will be missed by all that loved and knew him.
Thoughts and prayers to the family of my best friend. Rest In Peace Bob
Nancy and Family, We were so sorry to hear of Bob's passing. He was truly the wonderful person, man and friend that everyone says he was. Paul really enjoyed working with him over the years (Paul at Ross Labs) and I even benefitted time with both these wonderful men when I was invited to lunch a few times with them. He was a character all in itself with his humor and wit about him. I know that he will be missed by so many including myself. Bob and I loved talking UK basketball and what the season was to bring. I can remember him calling me at work when he was still at the Connection and we would go over the number of trailers we had on site. He always to me as "Blue" since he knew me being originally from Eastern Kentucky, I was loyal to the Kentucky Wildcats. Our heartfelt condolences, The Endicott's Grove City, Ohio