Richard Aloysius Gill II
Richard Aloysius Gill II passed away Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, at the age of 85. He was a longtime resident of Aspen and lover of the valley, and especially of skiing. He passed away in his home in the central coast of California surrounded by his family.
Born in Long Island City, N.Y. on Oct. 12, 1924, Richard was raised by his parents, Richard and Helen, along with his brother and sister, Ed and Mary, in a proud Irish-American home. He was raised and lived in New York until joining the Air Force, where he served honorably during World War II as pilot of the B-24 bombers flying over Europe.
After the war, he went on to the University of Missouri, earning a degree in engineering, through the GI Bill. His degree led to a career working for oil companies, never having a job that wasn’t overseas. His career began in Saudi Arabia in the 1950s and his work took him to Australia, Malaysia and Scotland. In 1969, he was fortunate enough to find his favorite place in the world, Aspen, Colorado. Upon his retirement 1985, he joined his family to enjoy the Roaring Fork Valley full time. Up until this point, Aspen had been his U.S. residence; it was now officially home. He was never happier than the time he spent skiing the “hero snow” on Snowmass.
It was while he was working in Saudi Arabia that he met his wife, Leona Badgett of Oklahoma, to whom he was married for 42 years until her death in 1995. During their 18 years in Saudi Arabia, Richard and Leona had four children before moving to Australia. Richard was lucky enough to enjoy a fulfilling life complete with world travel, loving family, great friends and years of joy living in the valley.
Upon the loss of his beloved wife Leona, Richard remarried Lucille Kerney in the fall of 1996, two years later he moved out to California, but his heart never truly left his family or the mountains.
Richard A. Gill was preceded in death by his wife Leona; his brother, Edward, and sister, Mary (New York City). He is survived by his four children: Richard A. Gill III of Pismo Beach, Calif., Kate Braisted of Aspen, Fred Gill of Denver and John Gill of Denver. He is also survived by his nine grandchildren: Sean, Dale, Meghan, and Kerry Braisted, all of Aspen; and Griffin and Caitlin Milligan, and Emily, Evan and Elle Gill, all of Denver. Richard is also survived by his second wife, Lucille Kerney Gill.
Services have been held in California; internment will be held in Chickasha, Okla. at a later date.
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