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Gillions Funeral Services is based in Dunedin. We service the wider Otago area, from Palmerston to the north, Lawrence and Roxburgh in Central Otago, to Milton and Balclutha in the south.

Our services cover every aspect of dealing with a death, from the initial transfer and funeral planning, through to the actual funeral and post-funeral decisions.

Several organisations and individuals need to be contacted in order to arrange a funeral service. We will liaise with them and organise all the details, as well as take care of the legal requirements and registering the death.

We can advise on choosing between burial or cremation, and on your loved one’s final resting place. We also offer relocation services, both nationally and internationally.

Our service is always offered with the highest levels of personal attention and empathy; we understand the difficult and stressful time families go through at the time of death.

Gillions Funeral Services is a member of The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand and a foundation member of New Zealand Independent Funeral Homes.

  • Keith Gillions
    Keith Gillions
  • Keith Gillions
    Keith Gillions

    Managing Director (BCom, Dip FS)


    Keith is the third generation of the Gillions family involved in the business. His passion and talent for technology has seen him develop innovations in funeral services, from live internet streaming to remote participation for those not able to attend in person.


    “Spending my childhood around the industry has given me a solid grounding in the profession and has been beneficial in teaching me how best to assist people at such a vulnerable time.”
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  • Elizabeth Goodyear
    Elizabeth Goodyear
  • Elizabeth Goodyear
    Elizabeth Goodyear

    Business manager Elizabeth Goodyear (B.A., G.C. SocSc )


    Elizabeth re-joined the company in 2012 in a business support role. As well as working with client families, she provides the HR, financial and marketing services for the company.

    She is married to Keith Gillions and combines her role at Gillions with her family focus.
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  • John Kirkpatrick
    John Kirkpatrick
  • John Kirkpatrick
    John Kirkpatrick

    Funeral director (Dip FS; Dip Emb; Dip NZPol.)


    John spent 30 years in the New Zealand Police before becoming a funeral director. His kind and compassionate approach to working with those who have suffered the loss of a loved relative or friend sees John go the extra mile to make a funeral service meaningful and appropriate.

    “Being able to draw on my prior work has given me a wealth of life experience that greatly benefits me as a funeral director. It enables me to relate to people with understanding and compassion.”
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  • Paolo Guglietta
    Paolo Guglietta
  • Paolo Guglietta
    Paolo Guglietta

    Funeral Professional (A. Emb, Dip FD)


    Paolo has international experience in all facets of the funeral service industry, and shows genuine compassion and attention to detail in his work.


    “I am proud to be associated with Gillions Funeral Services and my aim is to provide families with a positive lasting memory of their loved one.”
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  • Lee Buckingham
    Lee Buckingham
  • Lee Buckingham
    Lee Buckingham

    Funeral Director/ Embalmer (Dip FD, Dip.Emb.)


    Lee has an extensive background in support services for the New Zealand Police, both in Dunedin and Wanaka.


    I enjoy working alongside the qualified team at Gillions - together we work with our client families and aim to give them the best service we can. I believe caring for the deceased and offering compassionate support to the family and helping them through the funeral process is an honour and a privilege.

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  • Haydie McNulty
    Haydie McNulty
  • Haydie McNulty
    Haydie McNulty

    Embalmer/Funeral Assistant(Dip.Emb)


    Haydie began her funeral industry career on the West Coast. Since moving to Dunedin in 2011 she has worked for Gillions as an Embalmer/ Funeral Assistant.


    Haydie has a particular interest in genealogy and is currently working on a long term project which will eventually see all our old records digitised.


    Haydie is currently on parental leave.

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  • Elise Wolfgram
    Elise Wolfgram
  • Elise Wolfgram
    Elise Wolfgram

    Embalmer/Funeral Assistant, (B.Sc., P.G. Dip)


    Elise graduated in 2011 from the University of Otago with an anatomy undergraduate degree.


    December 2015 saw Elise awarded a Post-Graduate Diploma in Anatomy also from the University of Otago. This was the results of two years’ part-time study carried out whilst also working in her substantive role with us here at Gillions.


    Her career in the funeral industry combines the knowledge and skills gained from her studies in the health sciences, and the opportunity to work in a people focused industry.

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Half a Century of Funeral Services

Over the years, funeral services have evolved to mirror changes in society. Gillions Funeral Services has been innovative in adapting to these changes, catering for traditional faith-based services, while accommodating individual needs.

The company has been associated with funeral services in Dunedin since 1874, very shortly after the first gold rush ignited the city’s growth. The values and traditions of the early firms of CJ Thorn and Hugh Gourley Ltd continued with their eventual incorporation into the family owned and operated Gillions Funeral Services, 55 years ago.

Today, members of the same family are still involved on a day-to-day basis, with Keith Gillions now in the role of Managing Director, and his wife, Elizabeth Goodyear, as Business Manager.

For over 80 years, Gillions Funeral Services and its predecessors have provided professional services to the University of Otago School of Medical Sciences. We are also proud to be long-term contractors to the Southern District Health Board (Dunedin Hospital).

Gillions Funeral Services supports many local groups and other community  initiatives. Where possible, we aim to work with local businesses as well.

At various stages in our history we have also operated under the following names - Gillions and Sons, Gillions Bereavement Services and Gillions Funeral Home.