Linden Lee Gill, age 89, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 in Knoxville.
He was born in Gordonsville on June 20, 1928 — one year after military aviator Charles Lindbergh completed the first solo and non-stop transatlantic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis. Following the aviation path of his namesake, “Lindy” spent a 22 year career as a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, including service in Vietnam in 1968-69, during which time he flew 122 combat missions in a propeller-driven bomber aircraft, the A1 Skyraider, and was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars and five Air Medals for his courageous service. Over the course of his Air Force career he spent most of his thousands of flights in fighter interceptors such as the F-104 and F-102.
Upon retirement from the Air Force in 1972 as a Lt. Colonel, he served as city manager for Norris and later as director of the Knoxville Airport before founding Linden Gill Company, a real estate brokerage and management company.
He received his B.S. degree from the University of Tennessee, where he was a founder of the Alpha Gamma Rho campus chapter (AKSN-10) and was elected as the fraternity’s first president. He met his wife, Betty, while at UT and they recently celebrated 62 years of marriage on September 3, 2017.
Linden is preceded in death by his father, Frank Lee Gill, and his mother, Kate Lancaster Gill. He is survived by his beloved wife, Betty Motes Gill, and his four sons, Steve Gill (Dana Hunsinger Gill), Gary Gill (Janie Gill), James Gill (Mary Kay Gill) and Scott Gill (Ashley George Gill), as well as six grandchildren, Chelsea, Patrick, Lindy, Ryan, Palmer and Alison. He is also survived by his sisters, Mary Dykes and Emily Steinberg Cash (Harold Cash).
He was a member of the Ancient Order of Quiet Birdmen and the Royal Order of Jesters, as well as an avid fan of University of Tennessee football and basketball teams.
Visitation was at First Baptist Church Concord in Knoxville from 2-3:45 on Sunday, September 24, 2017, followed by a celebration of Linden’s life at 4 pm conducted by Pastor Doug Sager. Graveside service were at Highland Memorial Garden in Knoxville at 9 am Monday, September 25, 2017.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorial donations be made in Lt. Col. Linden Gill’s honor to the Military Officers Association of America (www.MOAA.org) American Patriot Scholarship fund, which provides scholarships to the children of military parents (officer or enlisted) who died or were severely wounded while in active service to our nation. Donations may be made online or mailed to: MOAA Scholarship Fund, Attn: Andrea Rand, 201 N. Washington St., Alexandria VA 22314.
Arrangements by Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel, Knoxville, TN.
Linden Lee Gill is a native of Gordonsville. State Route 53 from the southern side of the Cumberland River bridge crossing to the intersection of SR-141 and SR-53 at the four way in Gordonsville is named in his honor.
This notice provided as a courtesy to the Gill family.
BASS of Gordonsville