Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Genealogue Obituary: Gilligan Finally 'Voted Off the Island'

The man known to the world only as "Gilligan" died Friday at age 70.

Born in a small town in Pennsylvania in 1935, Gilligan attended Central City High School, where he was known as something of a beatnik. After a stint in the U.S. Navy, he served as first mate aboard a small charter boat called the S.S. Minnow, skippered by Captain Jonas Grumby.

In 1964, disaster struck. Gilligan, Grumby, and five passengers were shipwrecked upon a tiny Pacific island.

According to court records, Gilligan successfully thwarted rescue attempts for several years. While his motives remain unclear, it was suspected that he and Mary Ann Summers, another of the castaways, were engaged in a secret affair. Others suspect that his co-conspirator was Ginger Grant—later Hollywood's most sought-after adult-film star.

Left destitute by a lawsuit brought by Thurston and Lovey Howell, Gilligan had spent his last years writing his memoirs, titled If Not for the Courage of the Fearless Crew.

No cause of death was reported, but Gilligan had undergone medical treatment in the past for a brain injury attributed to being swatted with a cap repeatedly.

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