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March 11, 2020 - 00:00
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Hallie Ward Gill, Jr. and Patricia Jane Wolf Gill entered eternal rest within a week of each other, Feb. 14 and Feb. 20, respectively, in Johnson City, Tenn., following long illnesses and surrounded by family.

Hallie was born Aug. 24, 1932 in Galveston. Losing his mom, Ruby Mae Dowda, at the tender age of six to breast cancer, he and his brother, Walter, were raised in Galveston by their father with the help of his aunt, Polly Dowda Stapp. After graduating from Ball High, Hallie attended Howard Payne University and graduated from Texas Tech University and the University of Texas School of Law in 1958.

Pat was born Aug. 29, 1934 in Monticello, Iowa. She spent her youth in Columbus, enjoying life as a “pk” or “pastor’s kid” with her sister Juanita, and brothers Raymond, Charles and Roland. She attended Texas Lutheran College and the University of Texas in Austin, where she completed both her B.A. and master’s degrees in Government. Hallie and Pat met on a blind date and after a delay caused by a near fatal car accident involving Hallie, Pat’s father, the Reverend Gottlieb Wolf presided over their wedding Dec. 20, 1957 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Columbus.

Pat and Hallie lived for 60 years in southwest Houston, where they focused on family and careers. Pat started teaching at Bellaire High School, but soon after their son Thomas was born, she chose to support Hallie in his law career and focus on raising their family, which soon included Ann and Susan. Pat returned to the classroom as a regular substitute at Pershing Junior High where her children attended school. Her favorite after school snack was a Whopper at Burger King!

Eventually, she took a full-time position at the High School for the Health Professions until she retired in 1992.

Hallie began his law career with the City of Houston legal department. He then opened his own law firm, becoming well known for his innovative marketing, was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. Texas Monthly Best/Worst contest recognized Hallie for the “Best Recorded Messages” for the extensive legal information on a large list of issues including adoption and bankruptcy that he provided free of charge on taped phone messages.

With Pat’s help, he built a successful civil law practice that allowed them to travel the United States enjoying time in Colorado, New England, Iowa, Washington, D.C. and Tennessee. He celebrated 50 years in the Bar in 2008. Contemplating retirement, they decided to stay in Houston in the home they raised their family in on Stanton Street, close to decades long neighbors Margaret and Alex Jelson and near Faith Lutheran Church.

Pat participated actively in the life of Faith and sang in the choir for nearly sixty years! Her love for quilting and sewing has left the family with many keepsakes, reminders of her creativity and affection. Hallie loved to tinker on cars and boats and was consumed by national news. His life was altered by hearing loss and he spent the last 20 years struggling to converse.

Above all, Hallie and Pat were devoted parents and grandparents. They were all about school, jobs and family.

Grandma Pat was most popular at bedtime when she told ghost stories that were perfectly suspenseful. She loved Scrabble and Pictionary, too. Her granddaughters proudly wore new “Made by Grandma” dresses on the first day of school and holidays. Their grandchildren expected Pat to inquire about their grades and romances. They were extremely proud of their grandchildren be coming teachers, lawyers, doctors, accountants and business people.

The Gills love to eat, in part because Pat and Hallie were good cooks, devoted meal planners and grocery shoppers.

In their 80s, both Hallie and Pat began to suffer with dementia. They relied on their daughter Susan and her family for nearly a decade to help them navigate healthcare and home maintenance in Houston, which allowed them to remain at home for as long as possible.

On Dec. 6, 2018, Pat and Hallie moved to Johnson City, Tenn. with hopes of enjoying Thomas’s family, including great grandchildren and having fewer responsibilities and more assistance by living in an apartment community for seniors.

But soon, Pat needed full-time companion care and Hallie lost most of his mobility. Over the last year, their health continued to decline and by end of January 2020, their dementia had taken over. The family was guided in the last weeks by hospice.

As Christians, the family finds great joy in knowing that Pat and Hallie are together, both reunited with so many family and friends. But, the finality of death is hard.

Hallie was preceded in death by his parents, Ruby Mae Dowda and Hallie Ward Gill; brother Walter Lee Gill and niece Amanda Gill Adams. Pat was preceded in death by her parents, Pastor Gottlieb Friedrich and Ida Luella Wolf, and siblings Pastor Raymond Wolf, Juanita Wolf Rabel, Dr. Charles Wolf and Dr. Roland Wolf.

They are survived by their children: Dr. Thomas Ward Gill and Julia Jeffreys Gill of Johnson City, Tenn.; Ann Gill Howard and John Howard, Jr. of Austin, and Susan Gill Pauling and Craig Duwayne Pauling of Dickinson; grandchildren Dr. Thomas Gill, Jr. and Georgina Jury Gill, David Gill and Brenna Wilson Gill, Dr. Christopher Gill and Christie Skobel Gill – all of Johnson City; Patricia Howard of New York City, Susan Howard Baldwin and Evan Baldwin of New York City, and John Howard, III of Austin; Ethan Pauling of South Royalton, Vermont, and Hallie Sue Pauling Neighbors and Jeffrey Neighbors II of Eagle Pass; great grandchildren Ann Marie Gill, Harrison Gill, Jonah Gill, David Gill, and a baby girl Gill expected May 5, all of Johnson City.

Pat and Hallie loved knowing their nieces and nephews, including Monica Norem, Patty Ehler, John Rabel, Nancy Zelisko, James Wolf, David Wolf, Roland Wolf Jr., Jon Wolf, Dr. Mary Ann Curl, Katie Alexander, Bart Gill and their families.

The family is grateful to the care provided by their Houston and Tennessee doctors and caregivers, including end of life support from Princeton Transitional Care, Silver Angels, and Amedisys Hospice Care.

Memorials may be made in honor of Pat and Hallie Gill to Faith Lutheran Church, 4600 Bellaire Blvd, Bellaire, Texas 77401; Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 4550 Montgomery Ave., Suite 1100 N, Bethesda, Maryland 20814; or Providence Academy, 2788 Carroll Creek Rd, Johnson City, Tennessee 37615.

A joint celebration of life is planned for Mar. 14 at 1 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church 4600 Bellaire Blvd. 77401. All are welcome.

Charles T. “Jim Jack” Richardson died Feb. 29 at a local nursing facility. He was born Sept. 25, 1934 in Columbus, the son of William T. and Eleanor H. (Thrower) Richardson.

Jim Jack graduated from Columbus High School in 1951. He then attended Texas A&M University graduating in 1955. After college he served two years in the U.S. Army. He entered Law School at the University of Texas in 1957 graduating with Honors in 1959.

He married Janet Kathleen Buchanan in Texarkana in 1958. They were happily married for 50 years.