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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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May 18, 2022

1/14/2022 5:29:00 AM
Daniel Franklin "Doc" McGillis

Daniel Franklin (Doc) McGillis died Jan. 10, 2022, at the age of 73. He was born on Oct. 3, 1948 in Alma, Michigan.

Dan was career military with a total of 28 years in the Navy during two separate enlistments. The first included three tours in Vietnam assigned primarily to the river boats. Back stateside, he opted for corps school and was a hospital corpsman at the time of his discharge. After leaving the Navy he attended college and earned his initial degrees in psychology.

While going to school he worked in several different fields including mental health, social services, substitute teaching, and one notable stint as a park ranger in the Florida Keys, where he wrestled alligators and tried to keep the island wildlife and the tourists from hurting each other.

He re-enlisted in the Navy when they offered him orders to Okinawa and spent the bulk of his career working in hospitals and clinics. It was during his second enlistment that he earned his doctorate in psychology. He always said that his favorite duty station was the three years spent on independent duty at the marine reserve center in Green Bay. He felt a deep affinity for his "slightly rough around the edges", courageous young men.

Dan enjoyed hunting and fishing, bowling, golf, and was a member of several dart leagues when steel darts and bristle boards were still to be found. Health issues later in life made these activities more difficult, but his love of reading, old movies and music never waned. Anyone who knew Doc knows that he loved all things Irish and spoke fluent blarney. He made several trips to Ireland and often wore his kilt on St. Patrick's Day.

Dan was preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Darlene, and his son, Quinn.

He is survived by his wife Norma, brothers Dennis and Brian (Missy) McGillis, sisters Kathy McGillis and Mary (John) Herrbach, daughters Aimee (Fred) Bellinger and Heather (Russ) Hayden, three he called his "bonus kids" Steve (Joanne Castro) Swearingen, Michelle (Al) Wiggs, and Lauren (Rob Burgess) Swearingen; grandchildren, nieces, nephews, extended family and many friends.

In accordance with Doc's wishes, there will be no service. Instead, he voiced the hope that those who will miss him would raise a parting glass in his memory and be assured that he placed a very high value on your friendship and love. You may leave your private condolences for Doc's family at

The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is handling the arrangements for the family.

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