SWANS ISLAND and MACHIAS – A. Eugene "Gene" Jellison, 85, died March 8, 2012. Gene was born April 21, 1926, son Almond E. and Rilla (Hennigar) Jellison Sr.
An active member of the theater community, Gene participated in multiple theater groups and projects throughout his life. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree at Colby College, Waterville, and a Master of Arts degree from University of California – Los Angeles. He received multiple awards during his time at Colby College and after graduating, served as director of the college’s drama department. It was also at Colby College where Gene met his wife, Carolyn Bruning of Scarsdale, N.Y. Before moving to Los Angeles in the mid-1950s, Gene was widely known for his work with Knox County Theatre Guild, and the Waterville and Rockland community theater groups. After moving to the West Coast, Gene became a member of Santa Monica Theatre Guild, through which he directed many plays and won the Geoffrey Award four times. Gene served on the Guild’s board of directors for six years. Gene’s capacity for dramatic talent also enriched the lives of students at Santa Monica High School where he taught for many years and greatly expanded the school’s drama department. After retirement, Gene and Carolyn moved permanently to Maine where their passion for the dramatic arts continued. Residents of Swans Island and Machias will remember Gene for his great contributions to the community theater. On Swans Island, Gene founded Hockamock Players, a theater group, which provided island residents and visitors with many memorable evenings of summer entertainment.
Gene is survived by daughters, Katherine Rosenfeld, Rilla, Robin and Francesca Jellison; son, Paul Jellison; grandson, Benjamin Rosenfeld; and niece, Candis Joyce. Gene’s death followed not long after the deaths of his brother, Richard and wife, Carolyn, Jan. 1, 2012, and Jan. 3, 2012, respectively.
A service of remembrance and family gathering commemorating Carolyn and Gene’s lives will be held 1 p.m. Sunday, June 10, at their summer cottage on Swans Island. The ferry leaves the dock 10:30 a.m. in Bass Harbor. The family suggests that those who desire may make contributions to Hockamock Players, P.O. Box 372, Swans Island, ME 04685. Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. Condolences may be expressed at