Edward Bonfoy Giller Jr.October 1, 2017
Edward Bonfoy Giller 1918 - 2017
Edward Bonfoy Giller, USAF Major General Retired, passed away on October 1, 2017 at the age of 99. He grew up on an Illinois farm learning the value of hard work and self-reliance. His country upbringing gave him his love of hunting and fishing. As a young man he earned a private pilot license. He loved flying, so when he learned the military would pay him to fly he joined Army Air Corps and began his long successful military career. He was an amazing, strong, generous, and wise man and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
General Giller was born in Jacksonville, Illinois, on July 8, 1918. He graduated from Kemper Military School, MO, and from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in 1940. He worked for Sinclair Oil Refining Company in Houston, TX until the advent of WWII. In 1941 he began active military duty and in 1942 he earned his pilot wings and commission as second lieutenant at Lubbock, TX. While training in the northwest he met a beautiful woman, Mildred Schmidt, on a blind date and 3 months later they were married on July 2, 1943. It was the beginning of a long and loving marriage that lasted until her death in 2012,
During WWII he served in the European Theater of Operations with the 55th Fighter Group of the Eighth Air Force, and became Commander of the 343rd Fighter Squadron and later was Deputy Commander of the 55th Group. He participated in the campaign of Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; and Central Europe
After WWII General Giller earned his Master of Science and Doctorate degrees in Chemical Engineering. In 1950 he moved to Washington, D.C. where he was Executive, Weapons Effects Division, and Chief, Radar Branch, of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project (formerly the Manhattan Project) until 1954. During this time major programs in military nuclear weapons effects were started at the Nevada Testing Grounds. From June 1954 to June 1959 he was the Special Assistant Director and later the Director of the Research Directorate, Air Force Special Weapons Center, Kirkland Air Force Base AFB, New Mexico.
In June 1959 General Giller was assigned as Special Assistant to the Commander, Air Force Office of Scientific Research in the Air Force Systems Command, in Washington, D.C. In January 1961 he became Special Assistant to the Commander, Office of Aerospace Research. He was transferred in May 1964 to Headquarters US Air Force in the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, where he served as Director of Science and Technology. In June 1967 General Giller joined the Atomic Energy Commission as Director, Division of Military Application. Later that year, he assumed the duties as Assistant General Manager for Military Application.
General Giller retired from active duty as a Major General in June 1972. He remained at the AEC/Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA), with additional responsibilities for nuclear non-proliferation, intelligence, military and civil nuclear safeguards and the laser fusion program. In 1977 he left ERDA to become the Joint Chiefs of Staff Representative to the Comprehensive Test Ban negotiations in Geneva, as well as a policy advisor on nuclear testing issues. During October and November of 1981 he was Deputy Commissioner, and then Commissioner, of the Standing Consultative Commission in the fall session of the US/USSR deliberation on compliance with the SALT I, II, and the ABM Treaties.
He retired from Civil Service in June 1984 to join the firm of Pacific-Sierra Research Corporation to study the various issues connected with nuclear weapons.
General Giller’s military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 17 oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem, and Croix de Guerre (France).
In 1998 General Giller and his wife retired to Albuquerque, NM, where many of his Air Force friends and colleagues resided. His parents; his brothers, Alden and Jefferson Giller; his loving wife, Mildred; and his son-in-law, Richard Gajdosik preceded him in death. His sister, Grace Nail and husband, Louis, and five children, Susan Giller and wife Paula Ferguson, Carol Gajdosik, Bruce Giller and wife Jane Prive, Penny Giller, and Paul Giller and wife Katy survive him. He is also survived by seven grandchildren; Robyn Lance and husband Nate, Kelly Faris and husband Ryan, Nikki Prive, Alexandra Giller, Brookes Giller, Zoe Giller and Graham Giller and by three great grandsons, Rhys Faris, Kellen Faris, and Wyatt Lance.
His family would like to express our gratitude to his kind caregivers at Beehive Homes of Bernallio and Home Instead Senior Care. Edward gave to many charities for the less fortunate. In lieu of flower please give to the charity of your choice. Services will be held Friday, December 15, 2017, 10:00 a.m. at Hope in the Desert Episcopal Church, 8700 Alameda Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122. Later that day interment with a military burial service will be held at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. An online guestbook for Edward B. Giller is available at www.FrenchFunerals.com.