Lillian Gill Ziwot passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family, on Monday, June 24, 2019. She was 90 years old.
Born in Ware, MA, to parents Joseph and Mary (nee Bialek) Gill, Lillian was the youngest of five children. Given that Lillian’s parents owned a popular grocery store in Bondsville, MA, one of her fondest childhood memories was working behind the candy counter and chatting with customers.
Lillian graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and later went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Education from Saint Louis University. It was at the University of Massachusetts that Lillian became a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and met the love of her life, Fred Ziwot. Upon graduation, Fred enlisted and served in the Korean War, while Lillian began her career as an honors English high school teacher. After Fred returned from military service, they married and began their family. In line with her husband’s career advancements, the happy couple moved to Cincinnati, OH, before relocating to St. Louis, MO. Following the passing of her husband, and beginning in 2012, Lillian spent most of her time in NJ to be close to her children and grandchildren.
Lillian worked for 33 years as a highly articulate and very passionate educator of English and American literature. For most of her career, she taught honors English and was a Guidance Counselor at Parkway Central High School in St. Louis, MO. After retiring from teaching, she became an active member of The Wednesday Club of St. Louis, an organization founded in 1890 for women interested in furthering their intellectual growth in many diverse disciplines. With a keen interest in poetry, Lillian became the Chairperson of the Poetics Section and oversaw the Club’s well-known annual poetry contest.
Lillian is predeceased by her devoted husband of 40 years, Fred Ziwot, and her brothers and sisters – Joseph Gill, Stanley Gill, Frances Gill Kuliesh, and Stephanie Gill Lesniewski. She is survived by her daughter Dr. Deborah Ziwot of Far Hills, NJ, son Frederick Ziwot of Bernardsville, NJ, daughter-in-law Susan Ziwot, granddaughters Elizabeth, Christina, and Katherine, and many nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, June 29, from 9-10 AM at the Bailey Funeral Home, 8 Hilltop Rd, Mendham, NJ 07945. A Funeral Mass will follow the visitation at 10:30 AM at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 111 Claremont Rd, Bernardsville, NJ 07924. In lieu of flowers, donations in Lillian’s name can be made to Hope Through Education, a not-for-profit organization that provides tuition assistance to deserving students from low-income families. Contributions may be mailed to Hope through Education, Attention: Tamara Hemingway, 146 Metlars Lane, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854. Additional services and burial to follow in Massachusetts.