Peter Alan Gilson, 60, passed away at his home on Tuesday, January 7, 2014, with his wife Debbie, family and friends by his side, while under the care of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Hospice and Palliative Care of the St. Lawrence Valley.
Peter was born October 8, 1953 in Alexandria Bay, the son of the late Donald and Edna (Lawrence) Gilson. Peter was a lifelong resident of Canton. He attended St. Marys School and graduated from Hugh C. Williams High in 1971. Peter was a key member of the 1969 Canton Nationals Midget Hockey Team. Peter attended Canton ATC and Weaver Airline School of Kansas City, MO in 1974. On May 17, 1980, Peter married Debra Ames at St. Marys Church, Canton with Rev. Msgr. Billmeyer, Celebrating. Peter managed the Ideal Drive Inn in the early 70s and tended bar at the Evergreens Restaurant and Lounge He and Debbie owned and operated Smiths General Store for 18 years. Later they started and continue to operate, County Seat Realty in Canton.
Peter was an avid hunter and fisherman. He was a past member of the Quebec Brook Hunting Club as well as of The Stillwater Club. He was a member of the Boon Dockers Snowmobile Club in Degrasse. Peter was a 40+ year member of the Potsdam Elks Lodge 2074 and charter member of the Canton VFW Post 1231, Mens Auxiliary as well as past member of the Pierrepont Volunteer Fire Department.
Peter enjoyed many fishing trips over the years with his many friends to Canada and Boston. Peter was most at home spending time with his extended family at his hunting camp, Deer Haven, in Degrasse, which he owned with lifelong friend Alan Cunningham. He enjoyed hosting family and friends for cookouts, snowmobile and four-wheeler rides. He and Al hosted a black powder shoot (GNABPSO) every year in February for the past 20 years. The road to Deer Haven was never long, and the door was always open to the many friends to whom Peter touched. His generosity was without bounds.
Peter is survived by his wife Debbie, his daughter, Hillary and his granddaughter Arieana, all of Canton. He is also survived by a brother, Ronald Ronnie (Dietre) Gilson of Canton, his mother-in-law Norma Ames; brother-in-laws, Allen (Sue) Ames; Bruce (Judy) Ames; Kevin Ames and Companion Sally Remington and Ryan (Kristen) Ames; and by sister-in-laws, Bonnie Aldous and companion Joe Wood and Joyce (Wayne) Sheridan and by several nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 12:00 PM at the St. Marys Church in Canton with Rev. Douglas J. Lucia, celebrating. Burial will be held in Evergreen Cemetery.
Friends may call at the OLeary Funeral Home, 5821 US Hwy 11; on Friday from 2-4 PM and 6-9 PM. Contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of the St. Lawrence Valley or to the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund.
Condolences may be shared online at www.olearyfuneralservice.com.