Thomas Joseph Gill, Air Force captain
Thomas Joseph Gill, born on the 24th of the June, 1935, passed away in his sleep on the 25th of January, 2016. He was 80 years old, and is survived by his two sons, Christopher of Huntersville, NC and Stephen of Brooklyn, NY, two grandchildren by Chris and his wife Yvonne, Caroline and David, and his sister Gloria. His wife, Stella Gill, passed away two years earlier on the 6th of March, 2014 at the age of 81.
Born and raised in McKees Rocks, PA to Luke and Mary Gill, he had two sisters, Bernadette and Gloria, and one brother, Luke. Tom attended Duquesne University, graduating with a degree in Mathematics as an ROTC member before joining the United States Air Force as a Second Lieutenant.
During his time in the Air Force working as a meteorologist, he achieved the rank of Captain, attended a post-graduate year at Texas A&M for Mathematics and had postings which gave him the opportunity to travel the world. He visited far-flung locations like Uganda, Ethiopia and Spain, where he met Stella in Madrid at the Torrejon Air Force Base.
They married in 1958, and with a shared passion for travel, history, jazz, golf, food and culture they nurtured their love for adventure the rest of their lives. The friendships they cultivated during their years in Madrid would be ones they forever cherished.
In 1962 they moved to Omaha, Nebraska where he worked at Offutt AFB. Upon leaving the Air Force in 1964, they headed back East to Queens where he started working at IBM on Wall Street He would remain with them until his retirement in 1996.
While at IBM, he and family lived in Syosset, New York and Ridgefield, Connecticut before Tom was offered a two-year posting in Brussels, Belgium followed by two more years in Paris, France giving Tom and Stella four more years during which time they were able to truly indulge in their love of jazz, food and travel before once again returning to Ridgefield.
Tom and family stayed in Ridgefield as Chris went off to Dartmouth College and Stephen finished his Middle and High School years before heading off to Boston College. A year later, once again IBM offered Tom a chance to live abroad and he and Stella jumped at the chance, moving to London for another adventure-filled four years abroad.
After returning to the States in 1992, Tom finished up his career at IBM in 1996 and he and Stella moved to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, where they settled into their new surroundings with enthusiasm, playing golf and tennis and taking in live jazz performances while enjoying parties, dinners and conversation with the new friends they met down South..
Tom’s passion for jazz, history, culture and travel, his kindness and casual ease were the hallmarks of what made him both a great father to his children, husband to Stella and friend to many.
He will be missed greatly by those he has left behind.