Joseph and Joanna Gili Scholarship Fund
This fund was established by Joseph and Joanna Gili’s children in honor of their mother and in loving memory of their father. This fund will offer scholarships to graduating seniors from Salem and West Washington who intend to pursue a career in education.
Joseph was born on September 20, 1914 in Clinton, Indiana after his parents had recently emigrated from Northern Italy. Joanna was born on March 28, 1920 in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where her family had lived for generations. Joseph and Joanna met at Western Kentucky University. Joanna completed college in three years so that she “could graduate with Joseph” in 1939. They were married prior to graduation, but kept it a secret so that Joseph would not lose his housing on campus. Joseph and Joanna had five children: Joseph Anton, Victoria, James Bradford (Brad), Susannah, and Sarah.
Both Joseph and Joanna dedicated their lives to their children and to education. In 1962, Joseph became the first principal of the newly consolidated West Washington High School and Joanna taught English. Through their actions, Joseph and Joanna taught their children the valuable lesson of giving to others. In 2002, their children used those many lessons taught and established this fund in honor of their parents, thereby creating a permanent legacy to Joseph and Joanna.