Archive for May, 2016

Our Aunt Pat


Very few of you will remember Brother’s wife, Pat Gill (now Moon).

Maybe George and Barbara will but since Brother and Pat divorced in 1970, there are few memories.

Pat is the mother of three of our cousins, Debbie Denmark, Jim Gill and Mindy Smith all who live in the Akron, Ohio area.

Pat is brilliant, was the Controller at her father’s company, had a beautiful singing voice, and Brother and Pat on the dance floor were a sight to behold…Fred and Ginger would have been proud!

She was a single mom who raised three children and earned her Accounting degree by going to night school after a long day of work.

She enjoyed her bourbon…first Ancient Ancient Age and then Maker’s Mark.

After retiring early, she moved to Puerto Vallarta Mexico and spent about 10 years there before moving back to Ohio to be with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She loves her cats and would fly them to Houston for veterinary care when she lived in Puerto Vallarta…yes, she really did!

Pat celebrated her 77th birthday on May 13th and is extremely thankful to be able to celebrate that birthday.

After 77 years of excellent health (not counting the brain aneurysm when she was in her early 20’s…yes she survived a brain aneurysm!), she had a major stroke on September 10th, 2015.

Sure the years of smoking, the daily 5:00 adult beverage and age had something to do with it, but the stroke just came out of the blue.

Her son Jim recalls speaking to her on his daily 5:15 call on his way home from work…all was normal.

At 8:30 that night, he was called by his sister Debbie to get to the hospital quickly because mom just had a major stroke and the outlook was grim.

It was grim but after months of recovery, Pat is now walking, talking, etc.

No longer smoking and no longer enjoying her bourbon, she eats oatmeal every day.

There was no better Euchre partner…with Pat on your team, you were going to win.

Pat was also a Master Bridge player. If you have ever tried to learn bridge, you realize it’s a game for really, really smart people…she was really, really smart.

She loved her daily Jumble, her daily crossword puzzle and always had a stack of ‘puzzle’ books – very difficult puzzle books.

Pat wasn’t a huge sports fan but believe it or not, she loves Tiger Woods.

One of her greatest memories was being within feet of Tiger as he practiced on the third green at The Bridgestone at Firestone Country Club in Akron.

She was also a phenomenal cook…she made the best Caesar Salad with homemade croutons…no one comes close.

Another one of her greatest memories was meeting Michael Symon at his Lola restaurant in Cleveland.

Not just meeting him, but speaking with him as he knelt down beside her to speak with her and then autograph her menu.

Pat was rarely at a loss for words but that was one of those rare occasions.

She will never be the lady she was prior to September 10th, but she is alive, she celebrated her 77th birthday and there are three children who still call her mom.

-James Gill

Comments (6)

“Her Legacy”

Many thanks to Bernadette for copying the pictures for us and to Carol for sharing some of hers. Thank you to ALL OF YOU for contributing…even those of you that took forever to get it in….past deadline!! As you read the following pages REMEMBER…all the happy times spent together…for in the end all that is left is just that…MEMORIES.
I apologize in advance for any typos, mistakes or errors I made copying your letters.
A lot of poems and sayings you read in here were found in Mom’s belongings. She kept them to maybe read again because they touched her or to share with someone else, so we tried to include those as well. There are lots of little things only the original author will understand: Grant was ADAMANT about getting his “dancing men” in, Viki wanted sunflowers because her and Mom planted some seeds shortly before her death, I collect dragonflies, etc, etc. All put together so lovingly, first by you and then me.
Even though this edition seems like a gift to you, they are ultimately, a gift to Mom. Happy Birthday! We love and miss you so much! Her legacy to us…LOVE. Let’s keep it going…
NOW…get out your glasses if you need them, a box of tissues (you’ll DEFINATELY need them) and your telephone because someone will be calling you soon.



This past Sunday, May 1 was the fifteenth anniversary of Joan Gill Hartman Karst Donathans (or Mom as we knew her) death. In keeping with the ten year anniversary of FT on-line here is another golden nugget. I believe this was created a year or two after her death and released on her birthday. It is a beautiful piece of work. Many people worked on it but Ann organized, chased people and ultimately put it together. Looking at it now, there some really touching and amazing things in here. So thank you Ann.
With Mothers Day and her birthday coming up this is good timing. I don’t remember much about the events 15 years ago but personally it was a very difficult time for me. I was having panic attacks at work and ultimately lost a job that I truly loved. Beverly then Mom died. Then there was the divorce. Through it all I remained sober.
My memory of standing in the church with everyone and then someone rolled out moms open casket and it was pretty much a blur after that. I remember my sisters openly sobbing and I was having a difficult time trying to cry but the get together we had at Barbs afterwards was pretty awesome.
Mom would have enjoyed all her new grandchildren and great grandchildren and she died way too young, 64. This June 27 she would have been 79 if she survived. That is still a doable age. I could see her on Facebook crying and laughing at all of our posts. I could see her cradling her new GREAT grandchildren and even still cooking and making her kick ass potato salad.
Where do we lose that innocence of being young? So sad how wonderful people just get lost in time. Life is a gift. A blessing.

I am posting Ann’s wonderful Family Ties Special Edition right here. It is 52 pages long so I created two view-able PDF’s. One is 26 pages and the other is 25 pages. Somewhere along the line I lost page 16. Sorry. Some of the photos in here are worth resizing and I’ll be putting them in PTMYT.