Photo courtesy of Robert Devaney
John Worden Gill, a fourth-generation Washingtonian, died peacefully on Jan. 24 of natural causes at the age of 96. He was the son of Juliet Howison Parris Gill and Theodore Nicholas Gill Jr. of Georgetown. His wife, Elene Forman Essary Gill, predeceased him in 2007.
He was raised in the family home at 3022 P St. NW, graduated from Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1942 and attended the University of Virginia for one year before serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps in Europe and North Africa. He flew more than 50 missions and, at six-foot-two, was believed to have been the tallest tail gunner in World War II.
Upon his return to Washington, Gill entered the real estate brokerage and property management business and soon joined the family business — H. A. Gill & Son, Realtors, started by his grandfather in 1888. He served as president at the firm’s offices on the 1700 block of Wisconsin Avenue for more 60 years.
Gill also served as president of Oak Hill Cemetery on R Street for 40 years, a trustee of the Landon School, a member of the vestry at St. Albans Episcopal Church, an officer of the Washington Board of Realtors and president of the Edes House in Georgetown.
He was the Zoning Committee chair of the Citizens Association of Georgetown during the passage of the Old Georgetown Act, an officer of the Oldest Inhabitants of Washington, D.C., a member of the Sons of the Revolution, a vice-chair of the District of Columbia Republican Party’s Central Committee, an elected delegate to two Republican National Conventions and an advisory neighborhood commissioner for Spring Valley for several terms.
Gill was the second recipient of the Landon School Kupka Distinguished Alumni Award and a recipient of the Washington Board of Realtors’ Martin Isen Award. He was a founding member of the City Tavern Club in Georgetown and a member of the Chevy Chase Club.
Gill’s brother, Theodore Nicholas Gill III, and sister, Elizabeth Howison Gill Kerkam, predeceased him. He leaves behind a sister, Juliet Parris Gill Davis of Washington, D.C.; four children, Margaret Gill Schaake, Theodore Nicholas Gill IV, John Worden Gill Jr. and Laura Essary Gill; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 2, at 10 a.m. at St. Albans Church in Washington, D.C. In lieu of flowers, donations to Oak Hill Cemetery or to the Landon School would be appreciated by the family.