Mr. Gillin shared his business acumen on the numerous boards he served on, his daughter said, including St. Joseph's University, Mercy Medical Center, St. Edmund's Home for Children, and Academy of Notre Dame de Namur.
He was honored as a Knight of Malta and received the Papal Order of St. Gregory the Great for his contributions to the Catholic Church.
Mr. Gillin grew up in Overbrook and graduated from St. Joseph's Preparatory School. In 1949 he earned a bachelor's degree from St. Joseph College (now University), where he was later honored as a distinguished alumnus.
After graduating, he served in the Army in occupied Germany. He then coached football at Waldron Academy in Merion and sold carpets before going into the heating business.
Mr. Gillin and his wife met in Avalon and married in 1957.
In a tribute, the family wrote: "He will be missed by the many on the beaches of Avalon, at the helm of his boat, Teddy Bear's Picnic, on athetic fields encouraging grandchildren in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland, in church pews, at the lunch table at Philadelphia Country Club and at favorite eating establishments along the Main Line."
In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Gillin is survived by daughters Mary Margaret Lang, Marie Therese Smith, Agnes Gayhardt, and Mary Frances Cooley; sons Mark, Matthew, and Stephen; a brother, John; and 27 grandchildren. A son, Robert Jr., died in 1992.
A Funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 3, at St. Thomas of Villanova Church on the Villanova University campus. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken.
Donations may be made to Speak Up!/Aids Alive, 771 E. Lancaster Ave., Villanova, Pa. 19085, www.speakup.org.
Contact Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or firstname.lastname@example.org.