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Murray Journal

Gillen Remembered As A Community Leader

Dec 05, 2014 12:07PM ● By Peri Kinder
Calvin Gillen worked as the police chief in Murray in the 1970s and ‘190s. He is shown here with his wife of 65 years, Arline.

 Former Murray Police Chief Calvin Gillen passed away on Nov. 14 after a long life of service to his community, his church and his country.

Born on Oct. 11, 1926 in Murray, Gillen was active in a variety of sports, receiving a basketball scholarship to the University of Utah in 1944. But after only four months at the university, Gillen joined the military to fight in WWII, where he was stationed in the Philippines and Japan.

After the war, Gillen served a mission in Hawaii for the LDS church. When he returned home, he married the love of his life, Arline Reid. They were married for 65 years, and Arline said she was so lucky to spend her life with Gillen.

“He was just a wonderful guy,” she said. “Everybody called us a team. We had so much fun together.”

Gillen served as the Murray police chief from 1970 through his retirement in 1988. He worked as a police officer for more than 37 years, following in the footsteps of his father Joe Gillen, who was also a Murray police officer. Gillen was honored by many civic organizations, including the Rotary Club, the Elks Lodge and the Lions Club.

He was named an Outstanding Friend to Children by the Utah PTA and received national recognition for his Dine With The Chief program. Gillen served as the Murray Fun Days chair and represented the city when he and his wife were named the grand marshals for the Fun Days Parade. And he was a huge New York Yankees fan.

Gillen and Arline raised five children, and he adored their 19 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren. Gillen enjoyed the Christmas season and will be greatly missed during this year’s celebration.

“He just loved the holidays so much,” Arline Gillen said. “Every year we have a Christmas Eve party, and we will continue that tradition this year.”