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William John Gill Jr.


1930 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
William John Gill Jr. Obituary
BILL GILL William John Gill, Jr. was born in Chicago, IL. April 14, 1930 to parents William and Jesse Gill. He died peacefully in his home on the morning of March 30. Bill grew up on the south side of Chicago, the 4th of 9 children. He graduated from Morgan Park High School, where his football abilities led him to a full athletic scholarship to Colorado College. There he met Phyllis Ridge from Tacoma, WA, whom he married in 1951, and loved fully until the day he died. Following graduation Bill was drafted into the US Army & served in the Korean Conflict. He returned to Tacoma to begin working for his father-in-law at Ray Ridge Motors. Following the death of Ray Ridge in 1964 Bill was awarded the Lincoln Mercury franchise, built a new building on South Tacoma Way and opened Bill Gill Lincoln Mercury which he operated for the next 50 years. Throughout his career Bill was known for his honesty and fair treatment of his employees and customers. His trademark "smiling face" epitomized the pleasure with which he greeted each day. Bill's Christian foundation governed everything he did. The community, his family, church and friends were the fortunate recipients of his faith and love. He served on numerous community boards and in leadership roles at Christ Episcopal Church and The Diocese of Olympia. Whether in education, the arts or in organizations serving those in need, he shared his humble philosophy of love and work. He was known for his saying, "keep the main thing, the main thing". Especially dear to his heart were the years he spent on behalf of Nativity House. Bill was devoted to his family. They were the center of his life and he was filled with love and gratitude for each one of them. He loved, supported and cared for them and their friends in all they did. They were his greatest treasure. The years spent in the house he & Phyllis built in Rosedale were among the happiest of his life. He loved sitting in his rocking chair on the deck & working in the garden. Many people remember the gift of his homegrown tomatoes left in brown paper bags on their front porch. He loved good wine & music of all kinds. He enjoyed the comraderie of yearly fishing trips to Alaska. He was sure the northwest was the best place in the world to live & he was always happy to return home from wherever they had travelled. Bill leaves behind Phyllis, his wife of 67 years, children and their spouses Gretchen & Dan Plotkin, John & Virginia Gill and Susan Gill. His sons Daniel & Timothy preceded him in death. Grandchildren Abbie, Michelle, Matthew, Will, Bridget, Carson & Graham & great granddaughter Naomi; brother in law The Reverend Charles Searls Ridge & Courtney Searls Ridge, his sister Virginia Smith (Jerry) and brother Gill (Kitty), Elin his prayer partner of forty years, and many nieces & nephews. The family wishes to thank the CHI Franciscan Hospice team Leslie, Nancy, Mary, Alene & Barb and caregivers Silvia, Sarah, Anne, Mima, & Elke. All of them cared lovingly for Bill. Bill's life will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 10 at 2:00 PM at Christ Episcopal Church, where his ashes will be interred in the columbarium. In lieu of flowers please consider a gift to CHI Franciscan Hospice, Nativity House or The Dahl Music Fund at Christ Episcopal Church.
Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Apr. 7, 2019
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