Abilene, Texas (News Release) — Mary and Larry Gill were recognized by the Abilene Chamber of Commerce as Abilene’s 2020 Citizens of the Year at its Annual Membership Celebration and Banquet on September 17, 2020.
The award was presented to the Gills by the 2019 winner, Mike Hernandez.
The Outstanding Citizen of the Year award has been given annually since 1946 to a person or persons who has made an impact on the city of Abilene. Individuals and organizations were invited to nominate someone they thought contributed in an outstanding manner to the betterment of the Abilene community over the last year, several years or a lifetime in determining the award.
This is only the fourth time that the award has been presented to more than one person. The others were:
- 2001: The Dyess Air Force Base Family
- 2005: Gail and Joe Russey
- 2006: Kathy and Dr. Jim Webster
- 2014: Becky and Jack Rentz
Several people who nominated the Gills called them “a power couple.” That’s demonstrated by what they have helped accomplish in Abilene since they arrived at Dyess Air Force Base in 1977.
Another person who nominated the Gills wrote: “Individually, they have made a significant difference in the city, but together, they have made, and continue to make, a dramatic impact.”
Mr. Gill serves as Vice President and Grants Administrator for The Matthews Office and Senior Grants Administrator of The Legett Foundation and the Kickapoo Springs Foundation.
Mrs. Gill is a volunteer and leader for many local nonprofit organizations.
One person who nominated this couple said they are active volunteers and donors to everything good in Abilene and they have boundless energy to help whenever they are needed.
The Gills are very active in their church, Holy Family Catholic Church. They have been teachers for the youth and advisors to the youth group. Mrs. Gill has mentored many girls and women during difficult times. Both have visited the sick and comforted those who have lost loved ones.
Both of them have served on many boards, task forces and committees benefiting Abilene. Among those are:
- Mrs. Gill also has been highly involved in the Grace Museum since its inception and was its Fall Benefit Gala honoree in 2013.
- Mr. Gill has been very involved in the establishment and growth of the Texas Tech Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing and Public Health here.
- Mr. Gill also is chair of the Abilene Airport Advisory Board and a former chair of the Republican Party of Taylor County.
The Gills have two sons, who are retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonels, a daughter who is married to a member of the U.S. Air Force and eight grandchildren.
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