Cover photo for Russell Alver Gill's Obituary
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1922 Russell 2011

Russell Alver Gill

March 27, 1922 — April 6, 2011

Russell A. Gill, 89, passed away Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at his residence. Memorial service: Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 11 a.m, in the Chapel at Clark Gardens, Weatherford. Memorials: Honoring Russell's commitment to WCS, memorial gifts may be made to Weatherford Christian School, 111 E. Columbia, Weatherford, Texas 76086. Russell was born March 27, 1922 in Hugo, Oklahoma, to Robert and Audrey Combs Gill. He graduated from Stamford High School in Stamford, Texas in 1940. On Friday May 13, 1941 Russell enlisted in the Army Air Corps in Abilene, Texas. He completed basic training at March Field in California and was assigned to the 7th Material Squadron, 19th Bomb Group at Clark Field, Philippines. Russell was taken prisoner by the Japanese on April 9, 1942 and soon began the trek that became known as the Bataan Death March. Ten thousand defenders died on the march. In 1945 the war ended, but only one out of ten men who defended Bataan and the Corregidor returned home. After being liberated at the end of World War II, Russell went home to Lubbock, Texas and became a student at Texas Tech University where he met his future wife Joy Roark. Russell and Joy were married in Weatherford, Texas on June 20, 1947. Russell enjoyed his career of custom home building for over 40 years, forming lifelong friendships with his many clients. In later years Russell was recognized as a master craftsman designing and building southwestern style furniture and doors. He loved music, dancing, reading and lively conversations with family and friends. He was a member of the American Ex-Prisoner of War and the Olive Branch Masonic Lodge.  Russell has been liberated for the second time and has finished his journey; a shining light of determination and perseverance, he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Along with his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Joy, sister and brother - in - law, Joan and Joe Sellers, their son George and brother - in  - law Don Safley. Survivors include: son, Bob Gill and wife Beverly; granddaughter, Shelly Mayfield; great granddaughter, Madison Mayfield all of Weatherford; sisters, Marion Smith and husband, Sam of San Antonio and Toni Safley of Austin; three nephews and one niece. 
          “Alamo of the Pacific”

April 9, 1942

We’re the battling Bastards of Bataan,
No mama, no papa, no Uncle Sam,
No aunts, no uncles, no cousins, no nieces,
No pills, no planes, no artillery pieces,
And nobody gives a damn!
Nobody gives a damn.

----War correspondent Frank Hewlett, 1942

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