James Edward Gill, 80, passed away on the night of Tuesday, November 14th, surrounded by his family at his home.
He was born in Hinton on August 1st, 1943, to the late John Estil Gill and Odessa Lee (Wills) Gill.
After a childhood of exploring the woods and attending a one-room schoolhouse, he graduated from Washington High School in Indiana in 1961, and later studied nursing and became an LPN.
Believing in community service and self-reliance, he served as an AmeriCorps Vista, and served on the board of the Appalachian South Folklife Center, to empower rural communities. He had one son with Georgia Reitz. Later, he worked as a nursing home charge nurse, and through this work, he met his wife of 35 years, Paula Anne (Cooper) Gill. They were married June 25th, 1988 in Pearisburg, VA and had five children.
The great work of his life was the farm he sculpted and preserved for his family. From its highest hilltop, the sheep-dotted fields rolled down to the door of the house he built himself. There, mornings often began with the bellow of his own made-up songs (or familiar tunes with new and improved lyrics). On warm evenings, he sometimes brought out his guitar to sing with his family. His many books, stories, and songs instilled not only a respect for hard work, but for curiosity and creation. He labored through pain and weather, to till and plant the fields in spring, shear sheep and bail hay in the summer sun, and search for lost lambs in the February snow. As his children grew, he taught them to tend the land, its creatures, and each other.
James was a member of the Hinton Church of Christ, where he taught classes, led thoughtful prayers, served communion, and enjoyed theological debate.He was preceded in death by his parents, and his infant son William, who died at birth.
He is survived by: his wife Anne Gill of Hinton, who stood by him always; his children Ashleigh Gill and her fiancé Chris Clark of Murfreesboro, Amanda Bennett and her husband Scott of Hinton, John Gill and his wife Kate of Hinton, Shawn Gill and his fiancé Savannah Lowe of Princeton, and Adam Gill of Huntington; his sister Bernice Arbutus Allen and her husband David of St. Albans; adored grandchildren Frederick Gill, Kayley Davis, Adalyn Gill, and Natalie Bennett of Hinton; and his uncle Daniel Gill of Hinton. He is also survived by many dear friends and relations who will honor his memory. He loved them with all his heart.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 P.M. on Saturday, November 25th at the Hinton Church of Christ, with Minister Walter Dekle officiating. Burial will follow in the Upland Cemetery near Hinton. Viewing will be held one hour prior to services.
John and Shawn Gill, Freddy Gill, Scott Bennett, Chris Clark, Doug Wills, and Ray Gill will serve as pallbearers.
Honorary pallbearers are Jake Allen, David Allen, Daniel Gill, Steve Richmond, Louis Bragg, Gary Browning, Jim Campbell, Jerry Aldridge, Billy Griffith, Darel Chewning, and Ronson Shultz.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Hinton Church of Christ.