Conrad Vernon Gill was born May 20, 1924 in Colon, Republic of Panama to John Gill and Annie DaSilva Gill. He was the fourth of five children, all of whom have predeceased him. He received his education at the Gatun Elementary School and the Abel Bravo Spanish High School in Colon.
Conrad was an outstanding baseball player in Panama and was recruited to join the Indians Farm Team here in the United States. Although he did not make it to the major leagues, the experience made him a passionate sports fan for the rest of his life. Upon returning to Panama, he worked for the Panama Canal Authority and was awarded a certificate of recognition by the United States Government for his service in support of Allied military operations and final victory in World War II.
With his first wife, Lucille Bailey Gill and their two young daughters, Cheryl (recently deceased) and Celmira, he immigrated to the United States and settled in Brooklyn, New York. Conrad continued his education, worked in accounting and organized and managed his own softball team.
He later met Florel Nembhard; they were married in 1970 and he enthusiastically embraced the responsibility of being a father to her young son Laurence (Larry). In addition to his own nieces and nephews, he became the beloved "Uncle Con" to the children of in-laws and friends. Among them he was known for his straightforward, no-nonsense approach. They knew him as someone whose motto was "my word is my bond" and he lived his life by that principle.
Those of us who knew him well were fully aware of many times when his candor and inflexibility made him a controversial figure to some. When he took a stand against an injustice toward a group or situation, he unhesitatingly wrote letters to government officials or other authorities to register his complaints or express his opinions. He believed in fairness and truthfulness.
Throughout his work-life at George Jensen, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital and later at Merrill Lynch (from which he retired), as well as in his private life, he was admired as a man of honesty and integrity. Anyone who worked with him held him in the highest regard and appreciated his disciplined and conscientious performance.
Conrad was an avid reader and enjoyed discussing his favorite authors. He was known for his collection and enjoyment of all kinds of music. However, his extensive collection of Frank Sinatra recordngs which he played frequently in his home demonstrated his steadfast love for his "Frankie Baby". He often ended a conversation with "Do-Be-Do-Be-Do" whenever it was not resolved to his satisfaction. He loved dancing and was an excellent dancer, often getting up his beloved "Flo" to dance with him. With her, he enjoyed entertaining family and friends, played a lot of tennis, traveled widely, and was always trying to capture the moment with his camera.
After a long, well-lived life, his health declined over the past two years. On May 12, 2015, with his loving wife and other family members at his bedside, he passed away peacefully.
Left behind to celebrate his life are wife Florel, daughter Celmira, son Laurence and daughter-in-law Desiree; grandchildren Darnel, Ayana, Julian and wife Netasha, Spencer, Lauren and Camryn; great-grandchildren Julianna and Nylah, and a host of relatives, friends and neighbors.
Forever in our hearts.
A Memorial Service will be held at Episcopal Church of St. John The Baptist, located at 1000 Bethune Drive, Orlando, 32805 at 11:00 am on Friday, May 22, 2015.