On Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011 Carol Gill lost her battle with breast cancer. It was a peaceful and quiet passing in her home overlooking Moran State Park, on the island she loved so very much. She always looked back with great love to her childhood home in Mt. Lebanon, Pa. to those friends who are her friends to this day and all those wonderful summers in Zanesville, Ohio on her grandparents’ farm with her cousins.
She graduated from high school from Mt. Lebanon in 1951 then attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, Pa. She met Harry Gill on a blind date. They married in 1956 and moved to New England. Carol loved painting and drawing but also racing sports cars around New England in rallies with Harry and on frozen lakes in the winter in their MG.
She and my dad moved to San Jose, Calif. in 1965, stayed a bit, then moved back to Boston, stayed a winter and decided they liked San Jose winters far better, and drove back out on route 66 in a MG-A with a cat named Cat riding on her shoulder the whole time.
In 1974 she first went hiking in the Olympic National Park with a few days of relaxation on Orcas afterwards. That first ferry ride out to Orcas was all it took for her to know this was where she was going to be. We moved up to Orcas permanently in 1975.
She loved walking in the park, sitting in her studio looking out at the park and painting, hanging out in Doty’s in the morning, talking with everyone. She made many a friend there. She loved working at the school and being on the playground with the kids, no matter what she might say to the contrary. So many of her stories told over the years were from that time at the school. Even the children who gave her grief then were remembered with fondness and love. She always saw things in a positive light even during the tough times – and there where plenty of them.
There is so much more to her story than I can fit in here and so many people who have touched her life here on Orcas and every were she lived. She loved and cared for all of you and she found great strength in your love for her. I can’t thank everyone enough for this gift to her. She will be missed, and always remembered. I Love you.
A memorial for Carol will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29 at the Orcas High School gym at 5 p.m. A reception will follow at the Orcas Community Church.
Submitted by Chris Gill.