Fairl “Sonny” Gilland Jr. Known affectionately as Sonny, he was born on August 5, 1951, in Pontiac, Michigan. Sonny proudly served his country in the United States Army, dedicating six years of his life to defending his nation. A Vietnam veteran serving with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Sonny exhibited exceptional bravery and was recognized for his service with two Bronze Service Stars, the National Defense Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge; he is listed as an Expert Rifleman. He passed away on May 23, 2023, leaving behind a profound legacy of honor, camaraderie, and resilience.
Beyond his military service, Sonny was a beloved brother, uncle, and friend. He brought joy and love into the lives of his family members and friends, serving as a source of inspiration and support.
Sonny is survived by Theodore & Nancy Kordus; their daughter Kathleen (Michael) Gingras; and his sister-in-law Anita (Gary) Craven. His nieces and nephews will deeply miss him: Joshua (Kelly) Bechard, Joseph (Stacy) Bechard, Jeanette (Terry) Foote, Theresa (Patrick) Moshier, Tina (Joshua) Kuhns, and Dave (Chelsea) Bechard. Sonny’s impact on their lives will forever be treasured.
He enjoyed miniature gaming and board games. The camaraderie of his friends, such as Rob (Trisa) Gaines, Curtis Leonard, Bernie Bresnahan, Roger Meyers, and countless other Friends, meant the world to him.
Sonny was preceded in death by his brother Merlin Gilland, his mom Betty Gilland, and Steven Kordus.
Sonny’s passing leaves a void in the hearts of his family, friends, and all who knew him. His legacy of valor, compassion, and camaraderie will serve as an enduring reminder of the sacrifices made by those who serve in the military. While we mourn the loss of a dear brother, uncle, and friend, we also celebrate Sonny’s indelible mark on the lives he touched.
A graveside Memorial will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2023, 11 a.m., at Lakeview Cemetery, 6150 White Lake Road, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346. Luncheon will follow at Golden Buffet, 5630 Dixie Hwy, Waterford Twp, MI 48329; this was a restaurant that Sonny always enjoyed.
Sonny’s departure reminds us of the profound impact one person can have through their selflessness and dedication. May his soul find eternal peace, and may we strive to carry forward his legacy of honor and compassion in our own lives.