Mary Louise "Lou" Gill (1958 - 2020)

  • "We will miss our dear friend and hold close all of the fun..."
  • "Jen-Our hearts ache for you - a loss too soon."
    - Wendy & Elise
  • "Oh Lou, So much unsaid, forever too soon, too sad for..."
  • "Oh Jennie and Ashley, this saddens me more than ever! ..."
    - Nancy Gladinus
  • "Deepest sympathies for Jennie, Spencer, Ashley and the..."
    - Carole Gibson
Service Information
Celebration of Life
Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Columbia River High School
800 NW 99th St.
Vancouver, WA
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June 27, 1958 ˜ January 5, 2020

Mary Louise “Lou” Gill died peacefully at home on January 5, 2020 with family at her bedside.
She was preceded in death by her father, George Gill and Mother, Betty Jane Gill.
She is survived by her wife, Jennie McCartney; her brothers, Tom, Larry and Ron Gill; her children, Spencer (Kortnie) Ballman and Ashley (Philip Aldrich) Ballman; and her granddaughter, Kingsley Ballman.
Lou received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Washington and a Master Degree in School Counseling from Lewis and Clark College. Although she had no formal training in architecture, learning from working summer jobs with her Dad in his construction business, she designed and drafted, to engineering code, many homes built in the Portland/Vancouver area and the Camas suburbs.
Lou was not only a loving mother to her own children, she was ’momma’ to all their friends. She was the ’cool mom’.
Lou was a beloved school counselor at Columbia River High School, with some of the highest graduation rates contributed to her efforts; she also had a successful private counseling practice.
In her youth she became an accomplished pianist and was very active in equestrian competitions riding Western and English horseback achieving multiple championship awards in each category. She also enjoyed the thrills of downhill skiing from a very young age.
Lou was very adventurous and an avid traveler, sometimes on a motorcycle, or Russian Military Truck or 1957 Chevy. Her travels took her to many parts of the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, including Cuba where she traveled in an old Russian army truck to hike in the Cuban Mountain range. While in Cuba she rode in a 1957 Chevy to the back alleys of Havana to find the best Cuban cigars. Lou traveled so far north into the Yukon that the sign said “South to Alaska”. She has kayaked with whales and successfully met the challenge of whitewater kayaking in Montana. She enjoyed scuba diving in the blue waters of the Caribbean and air-boating through the Everglades to learn about the habitat of alligators. She also earned a black belt in Karate which her father bragged about often. One of her final personal challenges was to become an expert paddler on the Catch-22 Dragon Boat Team which she accomplished in a very short time.
Her love of animals was demonstrated in her endless desire to rescue dogs and cats as evidenced by the 6 animals that live in her household. Two summers ago she spent a week volunteering at Best Friends Animal Society feeding and socializing with an assortment of rescued animals from abandoned pets to wild animals in need of care.
Whether you know this woman as Lou, Mary Lou, Meempser, Mimi, Princess, Sweetie Pie, LuLu Ma, Momma, Gran’ma Lulu, Ms. Gill or lovingly, Honey, she leaves a legacy of adventure, insight, thirst for knowledge and a little bit of mischievousness. “All living things die and go on to become other things. Our bodies will host all sorts of life besides our own and will continue to do so after we are gone; our spirits live on inside the people we’ve know.” (BJ Miller MD, ”Beginners’s Guide to the End”) She invites you to be with us as we carry her spirit to spread her legacy.
Lou and her family thank Dr. Eric Anderson and his team from OHSU Cancer Knight Institute for their expert care and support during her illness.
In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Lou may be made to the Columbia River High School Boosters/ Lou Gill Fund. The fund will later be awarded to members of the Class of 2020.
A celebration of her life will be held Sunday, January 19th at Columbia River High School, 800 NW 99th St., Vancouver, WA, 98665 from 2p.m.-4 p.m.
Please sign her guest book @
Published in The Columbian on Jan. 12, 2020
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