Passing of Jim Gilleran, CFO, Mission Viejo Co.

I just received word of the passing of James “Jim” Gilleran, one of the founders of the Master Planned Community of Mission Viejo. Jim was the CFO for the Mission Viejo Company which not only built this community but also our 124 acre man made lake which immediately became the Crown Jewel of our city.

In 1992 we received the Award for Excellence from the prestigious Urban Land Institute which stated that Mission Viejo “stands as one of the most successful American new towns ever realized.”

A Memorial service is being held this Saturday, April 24, at avis Funeral Home, 6200 S. Eastern Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89119.

Thinking back, I clearly remember an effort in Mission Viejo where the Mission Viejo Company spent a fortune in a failed effort to remove councilman Bob Curtis from office. I stood alongside other volunteers in front of our office complex holding a sign saying NO to the RECALL. After Bob Curtis survived that costly effort, the MV Company made peace with Bob and the council with creation of  a new Development Agreement resulting in the city obtaining some land north of Crown Valley Parkway plus three parks with multiple  little league ball fields being built. The parks were/are named  Curtis, Gilleran and Beebie Park ( named after a high ranking District 55  Little League official.)

Note: At last night’s city council meeting an area adjacent to Gilleran Park was selected for a city dog park.

“Jim T and Jim Gilleran, along with other Alumni volunteers, were most helpful with the April 2005 Grand Opening of the City of Mission Heritage House. They provided valuable historical input, and Jim G. traveled to Mission Viejo from his home in Las Vegas to be a program speaker.”

I attended that 2005 dedication where Jim acknowledging former MV company employees staying in touch with each other where I recall hearing  Jim say…that “this must be the only community in the country that honors its developers….instead of suing them!!!.”

All is well here in Las the tax structure..and the weather..son Bill’s business is going thru the roof…all national developers are climbing aboard for his product…my greatest sadness is the loss of my mother in 2004…but then I had her for almost 102 years…and I think she figured she had finally straightened me out….so she could go!!”

Following is an obituary

JAMES GILLERAN Our beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, Jim Gilleran, left his life suddenly and tragically April 15, 2010. Jim was born in Ellenville, N.Y., June 5, 1931, to his late parents, James Edward and Gertrude Marie Gilleran. He attended Bryant College and Columbia University, majoring in accounting and other business subjects. In July 1955, Jim took a position as visiting auditor for Standard Vacuum Oil Corporation in India and what is now Pakistan. In 1958, he returned to the United States and was employed by Philip Morris Inc. Philip Morris Inc. acquired Mission Viejo Company in 1971, and the officers of that company requested that Jim join the company, so he and the family moved to Mission Viejo, Calif. During his employment there, Jim “rose in the ranks,” and eventually became president and CEO of MVC, the position he occupied until his retirement in 1994. In 1996, the family then relocated to Las Vegas. Jim was devoted to his family and was also deeply interested in their genealogy and through that, met many members of his extended family, including relatives in both Ireland and Austria. He even took his beloved Mom back to Austria in 1992 so she could meet her relatives residing there for the first time. Instrumental in building Orangewood Home in California for abused and abandoned children, Jim felt their plight deeply and said it was a privilege to serve them in any way that he could. Jim was an avid traveler and visited over 150 countries! Many things excited his curiosity – history, foreign cultures and religions and wonderful interest in anyone he met. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, James Edward and Gertrude Marie Gilleran; younger brother, William; and son, James Edward Gilleran. He is survived by is wife, of 33 years, Carol; children, Georgieann Bougher (Dennis), James G. III, William (Laurie), Gina Purdue (Doug), Kerry (Karina); grandchildren, Gigi, Cassie, Cliff, Amanda, Reno, Keyan and David James; plus his four beloved Shih-Tzus. Memorial service will be at noon Saturday, April 24, at Davis Funeral Home, 6200 S. Eastern Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89119. Another memorial service, with interment following, will be at noon Thursday, April 29, at Fantinekill Cemetery, Ellenville, N.Y. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, Opportunity Village or Best Friends Animal Society, in Kanab, Utah.

About Larry Gilbert