Sister Mary Julie Gill, educator, dies

She was a 'powerhouse in early childhood education'

June 10, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Sister Mary Julie Gill, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and a retired educator, died June 4 of respiratory failure at St. Elizabeth Rehabilitation Center in Southwest Baltimore. She was 87.

Julia Gill was born and raised in Philadelphia. She was a graduate of Philadelphia's Moylan High School, which was run by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at Ilchester in 1941 and professed her final vows in 1949.

Sister Julie earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1962 from what is now Trinity University in Washington. In 1970, she earned a master's degree in early childhood education from Temple University in Philadelphia.

She also completed a sabbatical year during 1974-1975 at Mount Pleasant Training College in Liverpool, England.

From 1949 to 1954, she was a kindergarten teacher at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Brooklyn, N.Y. She taught kindergarten for two years at St. Camillus in Silver Spring before joining the faculty in 1956 at St. Thomas More in Decatur, Ga.

In 1959, she began teaching kindergarten students at Maryvale Preparatory School in Brooklandville and was director of the primary department at St. Martin's School in Washington from 1966 to 1969.

Sister Julie was director of the Head Start program from 1970 to 1974 at St. Veronica Roman Catholic Church in Cherry Hill.

She had also been a part-time instructor in early childhood education at Villa Julie College and Essex Community College.

In 1975, Sister Julie founded and served as director until 1993 of the Julie Billiart Child Center at Maryvale.

"She was a powerhouse in early childhood education," said Sister Cornelia Curran, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and a longtime friend.

After retiring, she did volunteer parish work and resided at her order's Villa Julie residence.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered Thursday.

Surviving are a sister, Rosemary Gill of Delaware County, Pa,, and several nieces and nephews.

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