Loron N. (Duke) McGillis

The family and friends of Loron Newton McGillis ("Duke") marked his passing from this world on February 9, 2013 and remember him with love. He departed peacefully with courage and grace after a battle with melanoma. He had the opportunity in the past few months to say goodbye to his family and friends and spend precious time with them sharing his passion for life, his intellect, his sense of humor, and his unique view of the world. The world is a dimmer place without him.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce Restani McGillis, who passed away almost two years ago after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer. He is survived by his three children, Robert Steele, Cathy McGillis Brinsfield, and James McGillis. His son Ted McGillis is deceased. He also has six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

He practiced medicine in the bay area since the early 60s. Many of his patients also became his close friends over time. He finally retired officially in December of 2012 at the age of 89. He loved his job. He was always up to date on the latest in medicine and was a certified family practitioner.

He also loved to travel with the love of his life and best friend, Joyce. They went everywhere, but had special ties to France where they were drawn back repeatedly to Bordeaux to spend time with friends there and to enjoy the wine and food. In their later years, they began to take cruises and really enjoyed the cruising lifestyle, going through the Panama Canal and visiting the Far East as well as many other ports of call. Their favorite vacation destination was Poipu Shores on Kauai, where they spent two weeks every May. Another of his lifelong passions was for Yosemite National Park, especially the high country around Tuolumne Meadows and Tioga Pass.

He was very involved in the food and wine community in the bay area and was part of the same wine tasting group for over 29 years, meeting monthly to enjoy each other's company and to taste some excellent wine. He was a special friend of Chez Panisse Cafe, going for the first time in 1971 shortly after they opened. In the early days of Chez Panisse, he hosted an organic herb garden for the restaurant in his backyard. He continued to have many special and wonderful meals there and became close friends with the entire restaurant. He was Dr. Duke to Chez Panisse, providing care as needed.

Family and friends were always welcome to come for a visit and stay with them in their lovely Berkeley hills home. Duke and Joyce entertained elegantly, with simplicity and style and always with great food. They celebrated every first Friday with close friends and any family who happened to be in town with champagne and shared food. What a great way to welcome each new month.

Everyone who knew Duke was touched by him. He shared generously of himself with everyone he knew. He will be missed by so many people. He was born in Los Angeles on July 18, 1923 and died in Berkeley on February 9, 2013. All would agree it was a life lived to the fullest.