Michael John Ray Gilks died October 27, 2018, at home after a long illness. Born in England on September 20, 1942 to Robert Edwin and Monica (Williams) Gilks, Michael spent his younger years in many places as his father was an Officer in the Royal Air Force. The majority of his youth was spent in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, England, where he was a boarding student at Ashby Grammar School.
In 1966, he immigrated to Canada with his first wife, his infant daughter and his dog. In 1969 his journey continued when they, with the addition of his new son, immigrated to the United States to Macon, Georgia.
Michael spent his life in the clay industry, managing brick manufacturing plants. He worked for a number of companies during his 50-year career. This allowed Michael to visit and live in many states, Georgia, South Carolina, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Louisiana, to name a few. He always enjoyed going to the convention in Clemson, South Carolina where he often gave speeches on various topics.
No matter where he lived, Michael always found a church to call home. He was active in every church of which he was a member. Finding friendship and a sense of belonging in the choir, vestry and lay ministry was a way for him to make his new surroundings feel like home.
Besides a Church, Michael also made sure to find a stage in every place he called home. He loved to perform and was most at home on the stage. He acted in dramas, comedies and musicals from Macon, Ga., to Hagerstown, Md. He was in almost every production staged by the Greenwood Little Theatre, Greenwood, South Carolina, during their 1977-1978 season. This culminated in his winning the “Best Actor” award for starring in “Witness for the Prosecution”, opposite famous actress, Kim Hunter. If he wasn’t acting he was directing or producing dinner theaters, church plays and high school productions. He spent his latter years playing Santa for nursing home residents on Christmas.
One thing Michael was never without was a pet. From an early age, Michael always had dogs and sometimes cats, goats and chickens.
Michael was preceded in death by his parents, his son, Christopher Robert Gilks, his Great-Grand Daughter Hailey Elizabeth Gilks, his beloved Aunt Rosemary and many of his faithful pet companions. He is survived by his wife, Joan Elease, his brother and sister, Alan and Penny, his daughter and son-in-law, Monica and Domenic Cerrone, his son and daughter-in-law, Corin and Jennifer Gilks, his son Alan Gilks, his grandsons Zachary Minnich, Tyler Gilks, and Benjamin Gilks, his Great Granddaughter, Taylor Ashby Minnich, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He is also survived by his first wife, mother to his children, Monica, Christopher and Corin.
The family wishes to thank all of people who helped to care for Michael in his last few months, especially the wonderful staff of Georgia Hospice Care.
The family will receive friends on Sunday, November 18th, 2018 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM at Families First Funeral Care with a Memorial Service to follow at 3:00 PM.Print This Obituary & Condolences