Folks talking with Mobile attorney "Mr. Mike" Gillion got the impression that he was just a down-to-earth guy. Few knew that he was almost Elon Musk-level smart, a member of the Mensa Society.

(To qualify for Mensa, you have to have an IQ of 132 on the Stanford-Binet test, in the top 2% of IQs. There are 140,000 qualifiers.)

Mike Gillion died on Tuesday at his home in Mobile.

Gillion was known all over southern Alabama, partly for his mentoring of young attorneys and partly for his work with business law, where he was known as an Alabama expert.

Mike is survived by his wife of 55 years, Elizabeth Currie Gillion, his daughter Morgan Gillion Toland (Martin), son Merlin Freeman Gillion (Shelby) of Charleston, S.C., granddaughters Madeline Toland and Reese Toland of Birmingham, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

A graduate of The University of Alabama School of Law in 1971, Mike practiced law for five decades.

"Major Mike" Gillion served 22 years in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He was a past president of the Mobile County Democratic Executive Committee and a Boy Scout leader.

Visitation will be from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday at Radney Funeral Home on Dauphin Street, with a memorial service following at 3 p.m. in the chapel.

Mike Gillion's service to others did not end at his death. In lieu of Flowers, he requested that memorial gifts be made to the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program at

Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at [email protected].

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