On April 11, 2013, Ruth Anne Gill passed away peacefully in Santa Barbara, with her husband of 65 years, Abner, at her bedside. She will be remembered for so many things, including her generosity, her love of travel, her exquisite taste in home decor and fashion, her homemade meatloaf and Christmas cookies, and how she was always ready to take in a stray cat in need of a home and affection. But most of all she will be remembered for the unconditional love she bestowed upon her entire family throughout the years.
Proud of being a third generation Californian, Ruth Anne was born on February 1, 1927 in Woodland, California. Growing up during the 1930s and early 1940s, she and her family lived in various places in Northern California: Woodland, the Sierras, Santa Cruz, San Juan Bautista and Vallejo. In 1947 she met a handsome Marine named Abner Gill at the Oakland Naval Supply Depot, where she worked in the mailroom. A year later they were married and moved back to his home state of Arkansas where he attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. After graduation, in 1952 they returned to California where Abner took a job with Hughes Aircraft Company.
While Abner’s career took him up through the ranks of Hughes, Ruth Anne took care of the homefront, for a few years in Torrance at first, then fourteen years in Palos Verdes where the children grew up, followed by eleven years in Westlake Village. Ruth Anne loved creating a home where people would feel welcome, and even during the 1960s when the “generation gap” saw communication break down in many families, teenagers and adults alike would make their way to the Gill household to talk with Ruth Anne.
As much as she loved her home, Ruth Anne also loved to travel, and she traveled the world, mostly with Abner, but also with her daughters (the “Gill Girls” trips) or her best friend Nelda. When Abner retired in 1985, they moved to Santa Rosa, CA, where they spent seventeen wonderful years close to family who lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2002 they moved south again, first to Santa Maria, then to Goleta in 2006 to be nearer to two of their children and two of their grandchildren.
Ruth Anne is survived by her husband, Abner Gill, sister Valancy Hanneman, children Bonnie Turner (Larry), Kathy Lunke (Larry), Sally Gill, Jeffrey Gill (Sharon), grandchildren Kristen Ritter (Aaron), Sean Turner, Jared Gill, Karri Clute (Troy), and Jolene English (Chris), and five great-grandchildren: Kellen, Kennadie, Rylee, Sydnie, and Matthew.
The family would like to thank the entire staff at Alexander Court for their kind and compassionate care, with special thanks to Amanda, Yessenia, Kelsey and Debbie. You not only cared for Ruth Anne, you cared for us. Bless you.
Rest in peace, Ruth Anne. Your love and our memories of you will live on and on.