Dorothy Jean Gilliland

6/6/1947 - 2/9/2024


Dorothy J. (“Jean”) Gilliland passed away February 9, 2024, after a long illness. Jean was a longtime business owner in and active and  enthusiastic community member of Port Townsend. She loved Port Townsend and it vibrant arts scene, its place in the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, and its warm hearted but free spirited nature. She also loved the community she found —and helped build — here. Over her nearly 40 years here, Jean supported the Main Street Program and Rhody Festival and was part of the Rebellious Women’s Dinner Club and the Lawn Chairs in Paradise precision drill team. She was also known as a fiercely competitive card player and board gamer, and an avid camper, among her wide circle of friends.

Jean was also known for her lifelong love of travel and sense of adventure. Having grown up in the upper Midwest, in the 1960s and 1970s she taught school in the western US and then in Australia, returning in a roundabout manner that included passing through the Khyber Pass by lorry. On her return to the US she began working as a travel agent first in California, then made her way to Port Townsend and eventually founded Jean’s House of Travel, a downtown business fixture (and home to a beautiful mural celebrating some of her favorite destinations and wildlife sightings) for many years. Jean continued to travel widely and adventurously throughout her life, though in her last years illness made its impact.

Jean declared when moving to Port Townsend that she had found paradise, and her family agreed, with first her parents and then two sisters and their spouses joining her here. Jean is survived by her sister, Gail Ryan, also of Port Townsend, and her nieces and nephews Tami, Mike, Shannon, Andy, Thomas and Katie. She will be greatly missed.