M. William Gill Jr., C&p Manager

April 30, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Morris William "Bill" Gill Jr., a retired Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. engineering manager and volunteer, died of a heart attack Friday at his Ellicott City home. He was 75.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Hampden, he was a 1953 graduate of Polytechnic Institute.

He worked for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad for a year before enlisting in the Navy, where he served for two years as an electrician's mate aboard the submarine tender USS Orion.

Mr. Gill began his C&P career as a repairman in 1956.

"In that entry-level position, he developed a reputation as a person not restricted to what he was taught, but was an innovator and inventor," said his son, John W. Gill of Preston.

"He suggested that changing dates on phone usage cameras could be used as a means of determining where calls originated. This modification to an existing system operation resulted in one of the early avenues of tracing phone calls," he said.

Because of the successful application of his phone-tracing idea, Mr. Gill was promoted to staff engineer and later an engineering manager. He retired in 1991.

Mr. Gill was an active member of the Telephone Pioneers of America and helped initiate a program at Fort McHenry that made the historic site accessible to the physically disabled, hearing impaired and the blind.

As a member of the Maryland Olympic Torch Committee, Mr. Gill helped plan and coordinate the 1984 run through the state of the Olympic torch.

He was also a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, Maryland Special Olympics, the Boy Scouts, the Jerry Lewis telethon and the Red Cross, where he was recognized for being a two-gallon blood donor.

In Howard County, he was active in planning and zoning board issues, and helped construct playgrounds for the blind.

Services were Tuesday.

Also surviving are his wife of 56 years, the former Sarah June Eaton; a daughter, Deborah J. Howard of Severna Park; his mother, Shelda D. Gill of Hampden; two sisters, Carol A. Childress of Hampden and Bonnie L. Gill of La Crescenta, Calif.; and three grandsons.

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