The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of Barbara Luksanen Gill on September 28 at her home in Sandwich. She was 86.
Barbara was born in Sandwich on November 8, 1932 to the late John and Mabel (Fish) Luksanen. She was a member of the Sandwich High School graduating class of 1950 and went on to receive her BS from Simmons College. She met her husband Clyde Gill at the Dan’l Webster Inn where she worked as a waitress and he delivered milk. They married in 1954. Clyde and Barbara opened their hearts and their home to many over the years and she will be remembered for her kind, fair and gentle disposition.
Barbara began her career at WHOI in 1956 as a technical assistant for W. Atthearn. She left in 1962.
Barbara worked as the Sandwich Town Archivist for 28 years, where she was able to share her passion for history and genealogy with townspeople, including most Sandwich 3rd graders, and tourists. She received phone calls, letters, and emails from amateur genealogists around the globe looking for information about their Sandwich ancestors. She spent many hours researching and investigating her own family history, leaving a legacy to her survivors that will forever connect them with her memory.
Barbara was a member of Friends of The Sandwich Town Archives (FOSTA), the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Cape Cod Genealogical Society, New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Sandwich High School Association, and the First Church Sandwich, UCC. She was well known for her love of reading, puzzles, gardening, birding, and cooking. A lover of all things related to her hometown, she supported Heritage Museum and Gardens, The Sandwich Glass Museum, and The Hoxie House.
She was the beloved wife of Clyde S. Gill for 65 years. As an avid genealogist, family was very important to her. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her son Charles Gill and his wife Michelle; her son John Gill and his wife Patricia; her grandchildren Melissa Frye and her husband Scott; Nicole Perullo and her husband Jarel; Connor Gill, Ryan Gill and Megan Gill; and her great-grandchildren Lorelei Frye and Robert Frye.
A celebration of Barbara’s beautiful life and the wonderful impact she had on the town of Sandwich will be held at the First Church Sandwich, UCC, 136 Main Street, Sandwich, Mass., on Saturday, October 26 at 10 a.m. A reception will follow the service. Known for saying, “Any color, as long as it’s blue,” the family asks that attendees wear Barbara’s favorite color. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to FOSTA, Friends of The Sandwich Town Archives 142 Main Street, Sandwich, Mass., 02563 for the Barbara Luksanen Gill Scholarship Fund.
Information for this obituary is from the Nickerson, Bourne Funeral Home.