Dorothy “Dottie” Milano Gillen Brittain
Dottie died unexpectedly in the afternoon of 26 September as the result of a stroke and seizures. She had been recovering from brain surgery when she fell ill.
Dottie was born to Joseph and Viola Milano on July 23, 1932 in Lackawanna, New York. After graduating from Buffalo State in 1954, she became a Department of Defense School teacher and began a lifetime of travel. She worked and traveled in Egypt, France, Italy, Japan, and Germany. It was in Germany in 1960 that she married Thomas “Tom” Gillen, a USAF pilot. They had four children together.
When Tom did not return home from Vietnam, Dottie moved the family to Fort Walton Beach in 1970. She later married Charles “Chase” Brittain. She continued teaching at Kenwood Elementary, and later worked at Bridgeway Center. Dottie was a very giving woman and had committed her life to taking care of her family and friends as well as having a strong sense of community service. She was active in local POW/MIA efforts, the Red Cross, Panhellenic Society, Republican Women of Okaloosa, Election Poll Worker, Sons of Italy, Hawthorn House, Red Hat Ladies, just to mention a few. She also continued her love for traveling the world to places like China, Greece, Australia, New Zealand and Cuba.
Dottie is survived by her children, Cathy Gillen Hannay (Jeff), Patty Gillen Cooke, Tom Gillen (Susan), Michelle Gillen Chesnutt (John); 8 loving grandchildren, Ashley and Thomas Hannay, Allie and Rachel Cooke, Will and Maggie Gillen, Taylor and Ryan Chestnutt; sisters, Mary Saccomanno and Arlene Davitt-Sliz (Nick); nephews, Chuck, Joe and Anthony Saccomanno and former son in law Steve Cooke. She is preceded in death by her parents, Charles “Chase” Brittain, Thomas E. Gillen, Frank Saccomanno, and Robert Davitt.
Please join us Saturday, October 6, 2018 at Emerald Coast Funeral Home, Visitation from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm and a Celebration of Life at 12pm followed by a reception at Sons of Italy. Come casual and colorful. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, local charity, food pantry, or someone in need to honor Dottie’s giving spirit. Dottie’s remains will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.