As Westport boomed in the 1950s, families flocked to new homes on new streets carved out of thick woods and empty meadows.
The Gill family was one of the first on High Point Road, off Long Lots. Staples High School was rising, just to the west. The street was filled with kids, riding bikes, playing kickball, and going to nearby Long Lots Junior High and Burr Farms Elementary.
The dads commuted to New York. The moms threw themselves into volunteer work.
Ann Gill was particularly active. A 1951 University of Connecticut graduate with a degree in horticulture, she served on PTAs, and with Girl Scouts and the League of Women Voters.
She spent 8 years on the Planning & Zoning Commission — 2 as chair — and was the Conservation Commission’s hearing officer. She also was treasurer and a director of the Westport Library Riverwalk, and was active in town Republican groups and committees.
Like many women of her time, Ann also joined the workforce. She earned a teaching degree from Western Connecticut State University, and taught 5th grade in Trumbull for 7 years.
Ann was married for 63 years to Ed Gill. She took great pride in her home, her plants and flowers. As High Point Road changed — with longtime families moving away, new families replacing them, and 1950s-era homes torn down for bigger 2010s ones — the Gills remained. After Ed died, she stayed — the last remaining link to an original family.
Ann Gill died earlier this month — in her beloved home.
Donations in her name may be made to the Ann Collins Gill Fund (#31170), in support of plant science at the University of Connecticut: UConn Foundation, 2390 Alumni Drive, Unit 3206, Storrs, CT 06269.