Connect with us


Maxwell Claude Gillette, 92




Maxwell Claude Gillette, age 93, died Dec. 10, 2020, at Sutter Health Hospital, Van Ness Campus, where he was being treated for lung cancer.

Born in Des Arc, Arkansas on March 2, 1927, Maxwell was the youngest of 12 children.

In 1943, his parents, Charles and Emma Gillette moved to San Francisco from Chicago, bringing Maxwell and four of his sisters and brothers (Gladys, Edythe, Roscoe, and  Harold) with them.  The children attended public school in San Francisco with Maxwell graduating from Lowell High School in 1945. After earning his BA and MA in Industrial Arts Education at San Francisco State College, he was hired by the San Francisco Unified School District as an Industrial Arts teacher and taught at Ben Franklin  School where he was one of its two Black instructors.

Studious, ambitious, and determined to give of his best, in 1971 he earned his Secondary School  Administrative credential from the University of San Francisco.  In 1984, he was appointed director of John Adams Adult School. He retired from the San Francisco Community College District in 1991.

Upon their arrival in San Francisco, the  Gillette family joined Bethel AME Church and Maxwell was an active participant, serving on the Junior Usher Board, the Chancel Choir, and other programs, eventually taking a trustee position, which he held for more than 60 years.  He was named Trustee Emeritus last year.

He was a member of the Victoria #3 Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, the African American Historical Society, the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, and the Sigma Phi Phi fraternity. He was the recipient of several awards, including KQED’s “Local Hero” and “Man of the Year” by the SFBPW, Inc.

Maxwell is the last of the 12 Gillette siblings, four of whom died within the last two years.  His brothers Harold and  Roscoe died in July and  November of  2019; and sister Geraldine Earp was buried this Nov. 19, 2020.

He leaves to mourn his wife of 44 years, Frankie Jacobs Gillette, and numerous nieces and nephews throughout the Bay Area and the country.

Contact Bethel AME Church at regarding A Virtual Celebration of Life  Service for Maxwell Gillette, which will be held Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


East Oakland Organizer Needed

The East Oakland Stadium Alliance (EOSA) is seeking an Oakland-based grassroots organizer for a short-term engagement to help grow and mobilize our coalition! Comprised of local businesses, workers, labor organizations, and community members, we are deeply concerned about the Oakland A’s proposal to leave the Coliseum site in East Oakland and build a new stadium at the port. An ideal candidate has on-the-ground campaign field experience, a strong awareness of Oakland and Alameda County political figures, and deep ties to East and West Oakland communities. Being a local resident of Oakland is a plus.

Employment with EOSA is a part-time role and will last for a minimum of four months with an opportunity to extend longer. Transportation and cell phone use would be reimbursed and candidates of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to Emily Penrod, For more info about EOSA, visit our website and check us out on Twitter @AllianceOakland.


Copyright ©2020 Post News Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.