Remembering Ann Gill

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.

Ann Gill

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.

10 responses to “Remembering Ann Gill

  1. Matthew Mandell

    Great Lady. Taught me a lot about P&Z over the years. Thanks for all you did for the town.

  2. A true core of the community. Godspeed. – Chris Woods

  3. Cheryl McKenna

    Westport was lucky to have her passion and intelligent guidance. I will miss her.

  4. Ann was a Republican, but she was very flexible. In the early 90s, they were trying to put up lights on the football field, which abutted High Point Road. The proposal was brought before the ZBA, which turned it down. I gave an impassioned speech about how the neighbors deserved the peaceful enjoyment of their homes. Ann was so impressed, she lobbied all the neighbors to vote for my re-election, even though I was a Democrat (actually, I still am).

    The lights were approved several years later.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Bobbie and help in keeping the peace on High Point for a few years! My Mom cherished friendships with Democrats as well including lively discussions during social gatherings.

  5. Michael Calise

    Ann was a great commissioner at a time when some serious and substantial corrections were made to our zoning regulations

  6. Her son- looking suspiciously young- showed up at the senior center for our indoor concert. He had a Center newsletter in hand. I asked him his connection to the Center. He said his mother had died hours earlier and knowing she had attended, he wanted to check out the Center. I sent Betty Lou and Jim Marpe his way as they both knew her. It was very sweet. Leslie Sent from my iPhone


  7. I hired Ann to help with obtaining approval for a major renovation of a office building I purchased back in the 80s in Fairfield. Wonderful, talented lady.

  8. JoAnn Davidson

    Ann chaired the P&Z in the days that condos came to Westport. Those
    Commissioners worked with the Beautification Committee to make the Post Road more green, with setbacks and tree planting, some of which has survived.

  9. Don L. Bergmann

    I concur with JoAnn, Michael and Matt. Ann Gill contributed greatly to the well being and beauty of Westport in her role on the P&Z Commission. Her vision and commitment was almost inspirational.
    Don Bergmann