RIP Don Gillis

Mark Watson
Thu Apr 24 16:35:09 EDT 2008

Bob Nelson wrote:

Don Gillis passed on last night; he worked with Curt Gowdy on radio and took 
over for him when Curt injured his back...
Don started the first nightly sportscast in Boston at Ch 5/WHDH-TV I believe

  So sorry to hear of Don's passing. I spent many a Saturday late 
morning/early afternoon watching "Candlepin Bowling" and Don's detailed 
description of the action, which he would remind us a couple of times per 
show was for the vision impaired viewers so they too could enjoy the show. 
Don seemed to enjoy "Candlepins" and it kept him busy for alomost 14 years 
after he retired from the nightly sports duties.

  Yes he was Boston's first nightly sports anchor. According to an article 
on the Boston Globe's website, his son Gary (former Channel 7 sports anchor) 
mentioned his dad's first sportscast was the same night as Johnny carson's 
first Tonight Show. The Globe article can be found here:

  Also, I clicked on the 3 video links in Channel 5's website story, the 
first link is Don's intro shown before the final "Candlepin Bowling" show 
aired in Jan. 1996. No one knew at the time of that taping the show was 
being cancelled. Don recorded a special intro at the New England Sports 
Museum to thank the viewers for their years of support. The other 2 links do 
not feature Don Gillis, but part of the half hour show that followed Don's 
show, "Candlepin Superbowl", which featured mixed doubles (each team 
consisting of 1 male/1 female bowler). The host in the clips that are posted 
is Bill O'Connell, who was the weekend sports anchor at Channel 5, later 
weeknight sports anchor at Channel 56. IIRC, after leaving 56, didn't he 
work in radio on Cape Cod?

Mark Watson

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