January 19, 2011

Former Duke Standout Passes Away

from press release

DURHAM, N.C. - Former Duke men's lacrosse standout Charles McGrew Gilfillan passed away on Sunday, January 16, 2011. He was 82 years old.

Born on August 11, 1928 in Trenton, N.J. Gilfillan grew up in Baltimore where he learned to play lacrosse at Polytechnic High School. Gilfillan was a four-year letterwinner and two-time first team All-America selection for the Blue Devils men's lacrosse squad from 1948-1951. He became Duke's first All-America lacrosse player in 1948, earning first team honors after guiding Duke to a 6-3 record. He also earned All-America recognition in 1950 and 1951 as he was named to the third and first teams, respectively.

As a senior in 1951, Gilfillan led the team to a 6-1 record to finish as the national championship runner-up to Virginia. A defenseman for the Blue Devils, he is remembered as one of the greats in the sport of lacrosse.

Gilfillan was inducted into the Duke Sports Hall of Fame on September 9, 1994 and was named by Blue Devil Weekly as one of the "top 50 greatest athletes in Duke history" in 2000. In 2002 he was inducted into the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

After graduating from Duke University in 1951, Gilfillan enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps where he proudly served the country as a decorated Captain during the conflict in Korea. He was a pioneer in the Access Floor industry - founding CGI and Architectural Representatives. He led his team to be one of today's leaders in the industry.

His love for sports continued after his playing days at Duke. He coached the Moorestown Lacrosse Club, believing that the younger the start, the better the skill, the better the athlete. Gilfillan also was passionate about tennis and in 2008 he won the USTA Mid-States singles title for 80 and over.

He was preceded in death by his college sweetheart and first wife Joyce Pentz in 1973 and son Chris Rapp. Gilfillan is survived by his wife, Diane, his son, Bud (wife Jane), daughters Susan, Molly, Penny and Carolyn Abramson (husband Jim), and daughter-in-law, Debbie Rapp. He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren Patrick, Jason, John, Kurt, Courtney, Nick, Kevin, Alexy and Joy.

A service will be at 10:00 a.m. on Friday January 21, 2011 at the Haddonfield United Methodist Church, 29 Warwick Road, Haddonfield, N.J. 08033. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Charles Gilfillan to any of the following charities: The Duke men's lacrosse program, Box 90541, Durham, North Carolina 27708-0541, attn: Mary Dinkins, Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund (semperfifund.org); or Alliance for a Living Ocean (www.livingocean.org/donate.htm).

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