Indiana News

Memorial Service Scheduled for Broadcasting Icon Big John Gillis

Click on the audio link to hear a tribute to a WIBC icon


Big John Gillis (photo courtesy Sherry Gillis)

A memorial service is scheduled for long-time WIBC personality Big John Gillis. Gillis died at his home Friday night.

The memorial will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 17th at Flanner & Buchanan Funeral Home, 1305 Broad Ripple Avenue, Indianapolis. Visitation will be held before the memorial at 12 p.m. and again after the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the Indiana University School of Telecommunications.

Listen to a tribute to Big John Gillis from WIBC's Ray Steele:

A family spokesman told WIBC Gillis had been dealing with some breathing problems over the last couple of weeks and his body just shut down on Friday night.

Emmis President and C.E.O. Jeff Smulyan issued a statement saying, "WIBC and the entire Emmis family are saddened by the passing of Big John Gillis. John was an icon in Central Indiana whose captivating personality touched generations of listeners in our community. John will be missed by all if us. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Sherry and his entire family."  

Gillis joined the WIBC team in 1968. He started reporting traffic in 1980. Gillis boasted that he'd spent more than 20,000 hours in a "whirlybird" in the sky before his retirement in 2007.

Big John Gillis was 65.


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