Hugh Berry Gill, 94, a resident of Watsonville, California, died on Wednesday May 23, 2012. Hugh was born in Wenatchee, Washington, on September 8, 1917 to Ina Isabelle Wolters and Hugh Berry Gill. He grew up in Portland, Oregon and on the San Francisco Peninsula. He graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1935, although he spent his freshman and sophomore years at Burlingame High School, for which he had a special fondness. He attended San Jose State University. Hugh married Helen Denuit in 1941 and had four children: Susan of Aptos (Patrick Cummins), Jane of Utah (Robert Mathis), Hugh of Pennsylvania (Mary), and Patience of Capitola (Patty) (Scott Beck). Hugh and Helen divorced in 1957 and he later married Meg Wolff of Palo Alto and had one child, Gretchen Wolff Reynolds. He met Nancy Wells Ferguson (children Margaret Schlee (Modesto) and Joey Ferguson (Madera)) in 1969 while working at Sylvania, and the two were married in San Francisco, CA after a whirlwind romance!
Hugh’s working years, which lasted well into his eighties, included positions at Standard Oil, Allstate, Sylvania, Sears, Memorex, Santa Cruz Lumber Kitchens, Scarborough Lumber Kitchens, County of Santa Cruz Laboratory, and Watsonville Hospital Laboratory. His favorite positions were in the laboratories and also at the Santa Cruz County Election Board. Hugh loved the excitement of politics and being the first to know!
Hugh was an avid sports fan, and the San Francisco 49ers were his most beloved football team. A 49er loss could completely ruin his day. Hugh had hoped to live long enough into 2013 to see Jim Harbaugh take the Niners to the Super Bowl, as he felt that they finally had a decent team and could win it all! In addition to football, Hugh loved watching and playing golf. He spent hundreds of hours on many courses around the Monterey Bay.
Hugh also loved reading and driving. There were very few days in which he did not enjoy both.
Hugh, most importantly, was beloved by many members of his community to whom he provided counsel and support. He encouraged all of us to live one day at a time and reminded us that tomorrow would take care of itself if we would let it. He spent countless hours at meetings or on the phone talking to his friends, offering strong suggestions about what the best course of action might be in a particular situation. He believed in turning things over and that time takes care of a lot of things.
Always positive, Hugh made it a point to not complain about life or how he felt as he aged. He was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and pulmonary fibrosis about two years ago. It was only in the past few weeks that his activities became limited by his diseases.
Hugh will be missed incredibly by his wife, children, friends, and his cat Little Girl.In addition, he is survived by his grandchildren Edward Cummins (Lynise), Seamus Cummins (Julie and great-grandchildren Ian and Luke), Alice Herman (Cory and great grandchildren Joseph, Joshua, and Naomi), Rachelle Mathis (Mark Murphy) Elizabeth Wooldridge (Keith and great-grandchildren Seth and Ethan), Mindy Larmore (Will), Grace Elizabeth Beck, Joshua Schlee (Susie), and Elizabeth and Zach Reynolds.
We would like to thank Dad’s wonderful and dedicated group of friends, Dr. Patrick O’Grady and his staff for their compassionate care over many years, Dr. Thanh Vu, Dr. Amy Mc Mullen, and Hospice.
Any remembrances can be made to the SPCA, Saint Andrew Church, or Hospice.
Services will be held on June 2, 2012, at 3:00 pm at Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church, 9850 Monroe Drive, off of Soquel Drive in Aptos, CA.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the differenceFor the complete article see the 05-26-2012 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 05-26-2012 paper.
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