John was the first child of Charles Gillon and Agnes Galbraith Hay, named after his grandfather, John Gillon. He died of pneumonia while on holiday in the town of Ardrishaig in Argyllshire. His parents were heartbroken. He was single and had been a shipyard's timekeeper and a machinist. He was taught by his father to play the piano and was in the little orchestra, led by his father Charles, that played on Holiday Boats that went up and down the River Clyde during the summer. The paddle steamer "The Waverley" was the favorite of the Gillons.(see picture at right)
John was brought back to be buried in Kilbowie Cemetery in Clydebank, where his two sisters were buried.