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John "Jack" F. Gill

April 29, 1927 — May 5, 2023

John F Gill, 96, of Sergeant Bluff, passed away on Friday, May 5th at his home. 

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday May 12th at St Patrick’s Church in Jackson, NE with Father Jim Kramper officiating.  To view the service online please visit, https://youtube.com/live/IgQ_AtPrRxI Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday May 11th with family present at 6 p.m. and a vigil service at 7 p.m. at Mohr & Becker-Hunt Funeral Home in South Sioux City. Burial will be at St. John’s Cemetery in Jackson.

John “Jack” Francis Gill was born in rural Ponca, NE on April 29, 1927.  His family moved to a farm south of Jackson in 1930.  Jack began kindergarten at St. Catherine’s Academy in Jackson.  After the flood of 1940, the school became Jackson Public School, and Jack graduated in May 1945 from the same building where he started.  While attending school Jack would take off six weeks at a time to help with planting and picking corn.  Jack and his friends also worked in the packing house while still in high school.  They would hitchhike from Jackson to work during the week and all day on Saturdays. 

Jack enlisted in the Navy before his 18th birthday but the Navy allowed him to finish high school.  He arrived at bootcamp five days after graduation where he trained at the Great Lakes Naval Academy for the expected invasion of Japan.  He was in his last week of bootcamp when the war ended in Japan.  During his two-and-a-half-year stint in the Navy he spent most of his time on the west coast, running a chipping hammer or grinder.    

Jack met the true love of his life, Margaret Olson while home on leave in October of 1945. They later married in Doon, Iowa.  To this union was born four sons and two daughters:  David L Gill (Lee) of North Sioux City, SD, Patrick F Gill, of Sergeant Bluff, IA, Thomas J Gill, of Parker, CO, Kenneth D Gill of Oak Park, IL, Janet G (Tim) Lowe of St. Louis, MO and Carol J Meredith of Sergeant Bluff, IA.  Margaret died on February 25, 2012. 

After his Naval discharge Jack returned home to Jackson. He worked in construction and at the age of 21 he went to work on the railroad in Chicago. From 1948 to 1956, he worked as much as possible on the railroad, but filled in with jobs at packing houses, ironworking and construction.  He worked on the Gavins Point dam during the summer of 1955 for 3 months. When a steady job on the railroad became available in 1956, he went to work there full-time, completing his 45-year career as a brakeman/switchman, with retirement in June of 1993.

At the age of 66, Jack then began his favorite hobby as a homebuilder.  He built more than a dozen homes with lots of help from sons Pat and Tom, grandsons Ben, Chris and Michael and with financial backing from his brother Leonard Gill.  Jack laid block for the foundations for all of the houses he built. During this time, he also helped remodel several houses and put on new roofs for many family members. Jack’s friends and neighbors always knew they could count on his help for mowing lawns, shoveling walks and many home construction projects.  He spent his 85th birthday pouring walls before finally retiring for good. 

Jack and Margaret were able to travel extensively both in the United States and elsewhere.  They took several trips to Europe, seeing the UK, Ireland, Norway and Russia.  Jack was able to visit the Village of Street in County Westmeath, Ireland, where his paternal grandfather Patrick Gill was born and baptized.  Jack loved spending time with his family and was very proud of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

Jack spent most of his adult life in Sioux City, moving to South Sioux City in 1999 to build houses.  He moved to Sergeant Bluff in 2017. 

Jack is survived by two brothers Michael Gill (Joyce) of Sioux City, Joseph (Millie) of Jackson, NE, a sister Rose Murphy of Southwick, MA and 16 grandchildren Benjamin Gill (Cydney), Shannon Gill Engel (Mike), Brendan Gill (Shelby), Christopher Meredith (Theresa) of Sioux City, Tessa Gill of Bakersfield, CA, Alyssa Gill Ott of Omaha, Ann Lowe (Sangjun) of Cape Girardeau, MO, Grace Lowe Rutkowski (Jesse) of St. Louis, MO, Shelley Lowe of Christ Church, New Zealand, Nicole Meredith Young (Craig) of Phoenix, AZ,  Shelby Meredith Dougherty (Andy), and Keely Gill Johnson (Johnny) of Des Moines, IA, Keith Gill and  Konnor Gill of Denver, CO, Emily Gill of Brooklyn, NY and Kristin Gill of Minneapolis, MN, and 19 great grandchildren. 

He was preceded in death by his parents James Gill and Mary Merchant Gill, his wife Margaret, four brothers, Harold, Donald, Leonard, David Gill and three sisters Florence (Gill) Branch, Mary Ann (Gill) Mahon, Theresa (Gill) Bateman, and two grandchildren, Michael Meredith and Kelly Jo Meredith. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. John’s Cemetery in Jackson, NE care of Ron Gill. 


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