Scranton Gillette Communications Chairman, CEO passes

News Roads&Bridges November 24, 2003
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This past weekend, Halbert Scranton Gillette, chairman of the board and CEO of Scranton Gillette Communications, publishers of

This past weekend, Halbert Scranton Gillette, chairman of the board and CEO of Scranton Gillette Communications, publishers of ROADS & BRIDGES and Transportation Management + Engineering magazines, passed away due to complications from chemotherapy after a long battle with cancer. He was 81.


Born in Chicago, Ill., June 29, 1922, the son of Edward Scranton Gillette and Claribel Reed Thornton was raised in Chicago and Winnetka, Ill.


Mr. Gillette attended The Chicago Latin School and graduated from the Philips Exeter Academy. In 1944 he graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering and business.


He was commissioned U.S. Navy 1944-1946 and served in the U.S. mainland during World War II and in the Naval Reserves.<P>


He was chairman of the board and CEO of Scranton Gillette Communications Inc., which specializes in trade magazines and was founded in 1906 by his grandfather. Mr. Gillette started as a salesman for Gillette Publishing in 1947. In 1960, two-thirds of Gillette Publishing Co. was sold to Ruben H. Donnelly, which then was merging with Dun & Bradstreet. Mr. Gillette also moved to Donnelly/Dun & Bradstreet as a publisher and a vice president. In 1970, he rejoined his father’s firm, then Scranton Publishing Co., and shortly became president of the firm, which was renamed Scranton Gillette Communications.


Mr. Gillette served as past president of the Chicago Business Papers Association, as well as on the board of several insurance companies. He was the former Chairman of the Board of Occidental Life Insurance.


He served as alderman in Lake Forest, Ill., from 1979 — 1986, and served on the Public Safety and Waterfront committees. He was co-chairman of the committee that oversaw the creation of the city’s current beachfront.


He was a member of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest and Church of the Holy Innocents, in Lahaina, Hawaii. He also was a member of the Onwentsia Club of Lake Forest, the Les Cheneaux Club, Cedarville, Mich., and the Lahaina Yacht Club, Hawaii.


Mr. Gillette was husband of Karla Ann Spiel Gillette; father of Anne, Susan, James, Halbert and Edward and grandfather of Alexander, Madeline, Carolyn, Julia and Isabelle.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation, 5841 S. Maryland Ave., MC 1140, Chicago, IL 60637. Memorial Service will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, at The Church of the Holy Spirit, 400 E. Westminster Road, Lake Forest, Ill. The visitation and interment will be private.


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