Renate Charlotte Gillis

Renate Charlotte Gillis, 92, passed away on Tuesday, January 17, 2023. She was a native of Berlin, Germany, and a resident of Newport News for 48 years. Renate was a Christian military wife.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Fritz and Johanne Ihme; brother, Manfred; sister Walburga Gramich;  of Berlin, Germany; and great-grandson, Donavan Gillis of Newport News.

Renate is survived by her husband, George Gillis; sons, Michael O. Gillis (Ada), and George Patrick Gillis (Pam); five grandchildren; and eleven great-grandchildren.

A special thanks to all the caregivers at Mennowood that lovingly and tirelessly took care of Renate in her last years.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at Peninsula Funeral Home followed by a Celebration of Life at 2:00 p.m.

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.



  1. Helga Idselis-Knoerr

    My name is Helga Idselis-Knoerr, and I met Renate in Berlin in 1971. We became friends, as we met Renate and George through our boys (they went to the same American School in Berlin). Renate was a true and helpful friend, and we had great times, as well as lots of fun together. Renate was a beautiful woman inside and out, a very wise woman, I loved spending time with her, she helped me through a difficult divorce, and after we all returned to America, our friendship continued to this day. I had her in my heart and prayers daily, and will continue to pray for her soul. My heart goes out to George, and I hope, we continue to write to each other. My deepest sympathy goes to the family. Missing my friend already – love Helga

  2. Jeanne Vaul

    Renate always had a big smile on her face and Werther’s Originals in her pocket. She loved her God and her family,
    gardening, painting, writing in her journal, and had such a tender heart, especially for children. She was so proud of her children and grandchildren, always bringing pictures to share at Bible study. The Ladies Evening Bible Study at Regimental Memorial Chapel has missed her so much during her illness. Though her homegoing brings sadness, it also brings rejoicing as we know she is tending gardens, enveloped in the arms of Jesus.

  3. C C

    I’m sorry for the loss of your dear loved one. May you find comfort and peace in God’s promise when no resident will say: “I am sick.” Isaiah 33:24 Condolences

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