Helen Gill Scholarship Fund
Helen was born at home on April 10, 1911 to Dora “Dode” and Wynn McCoskey. When Helen started school, her method of transportation was simple: she walked. Depending upon the time her life, this could be as little as ½ mile or could entail walking “through fields on the neighbor’s farm, cross a creek by means of a foot log, and climb the hill to the school.” However, these trips evolved into a life long love of education.
Helen started high school in the autumn of 1924. The previous spring, she had attended the high school play and operetta and fell in love with “the handsome young man who had the leading role in the programs.” She told one of her friends that she was going to marry that boy. His name was John Parnell “Bob” Gill.
On their first date, Helen, Bob and a chaperone went to Marengo Cave. Being outgoing and eager to make an impression, Helen drove Bob’s car. “I cut a corner too close and ran off the end of a culvert. A few dents in the car was the result of that episode.” Eventually, Bob and Helen were married on February 15, 1939. “Everything worked out fine and we were happy.” Bob and Helen had two daughters, Cheryl Lynn and Jean Elaine.
Helen taught school for many, many years. She also traveled internationally for Sweet Adeline Competitions. Helen could play the piano, clarinet, guitar and accordion. She played the organ for many years at St. Patrick Church.
This scholarship fund, established in Helen’s memory, will provide scholarships to graduating seniors from Salem and East Washington High Schools.