In Memory of





Obituary for Frances Davis Gillin (Davis)

Obituary for Frances D. Gillin
Born: January 15th, 1942, Cleveland, OH.
Died: March 29th, 2023, San Diego, CA.

Fran Gillin died at the age of eighty-one on March 29th, 2023 after a brief illness. She was surrounded by her loving family. Fran was a proud wife, mother, friend, sister and scientist. Most of all, she loved being a grandmother!
Fran was a kind, generous and unconditionally loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She made those around her feel cared for and was genuinely interested in the people she met. Fran always asked how those around her were doing and always made time for them. Fran had friendships with people ranging from those in very humble circumstances to the pinnacle of academia. Despite her substantial academic and scientific accomplishments, she remained humble and down-to-earth her entire life.
Fran lived an incredible life! Born to a working class family in Cleveland, she earned an academic scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University and, later, a PhD in Biology from Case Western Reserve. In grad school, she met the love of her life, Chris Gillin, a medical student. Chris and Fran were married in 1966 and were married for 37 years until his death from cancer.
After post-doctoral research at Stanford, Fran and Chris moved to Bethesda, MD. Fran was a research Microbiologist at the NIH, focusing on giardia, which affects millions of infants in developing countries.
It was in Bethesda that her two sons, Lorin and Peter, were born.
After moving to San Diego in 1982, Fran continued her career at UC San Diego Medical School. Despite her successful career, she always had time to help her sons with their biology homework! Fran retired in 2012.
Even after being widowed in 2003, Fran continued to live an adventurous life, with travels to Israel, Ecuador, an African safari and even the Artic Circle. She loved boogie boarding at La Jolla Shores and seeing the leopard sharks during the summer.
By far, her proudest moments were the births of her granddaughters in 2008 and 2011. It was then that Fran wanted to be called Bubbie, like her own mother. Her fondest memories were of trips with her granddaughters to Lake Tahoe, East Coast family reunions, Scripps Aquarium and baking at home.
Fran will always be remembered for her kindness, unconditional love, acceptance, curiosity and generosity.