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Mabel Charlene Meisenheimer Gill

Godfrey 12/13/2013

Mabel Charlene Meisenheimer Gill, 89, died at 5:30 p.m. Friday, December 13, 2013 at her home in Godfrey.

She was born July 3, 1924 in Alton, the daughter of the late Charles and Mable Dehne Meisenheimer. She was educated in the public schools in Brighton, Illinois, and attended Shurtleff College, Washington University in St. Louis, Southern Illinois University and Tarkio College. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a concentration in Management, and is listed in Who’s Who of the Midwest and Who’s Who of American Women. Mabel’s passion for history led her to be a co-founder of the Alton Museum of History and Art, Inc. and she was an instrumental part of the museum’s successes.

She devoted much of her time and resources to the museum, volunteering tirelessly for 42 years, and eventually became President Emeritus. She never tired of sharing Alton’s history with others. Her dedication to the museum and love of history were demonstrated daily. She was founder of the Arsenal ’76 Chapter of Federally Employed Women, President of St. Louis Zonta Club, President of the American Society of Photogrammetry, Board Member of National Women’s Conference Center since 1979, founder of the Missouri Women’s Network in 1982, Co-Chair of the Equal Rights Amendment Caucus, and Chair of the Shake Hands with History Committee. She was a photogrammetrist and supervisory cartographer from 1948 until 1980.

She started her career at Aeronautical Chart Plant at 12th and Delmar in St. Louis as a Photogrammetric Aide and later at Aeronautical Chart and Information Center. She was the first woman supervisor in her Department, and spent her later years in the Program, Plans & Operations of the Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center, ending her career there as a Program Manager in 1980. She was the first Federal Woman’s Program Manager at that Agency. For 5 years, she was the newsletter editor of the Photogrammetric Engineering Journal of the American Society of Photogrammetry, and after retirement, authored several books for the Alton Museum. She was also President of the Alton Women’s Council, Alton Area Historical Society, helped form two International Toastmaster’s Clubs in St. Louis and was one of the first women to be an Area Governor of Toastmasters. She also served as the Grand Marshal of the Alton Memorial Day Parade, the oldest Memorial Day parade in the United States. Mabel’s dedicated volunteer service garnered her many awards, including the YWCA’s Woman of Distinction Award, 100 Women of Substance, the Studs Terkel Humanities Award and the National Society of the DAR’s Historic Preservation Medal, among others. Family was of the utmost importance to her.

She married Fred L. Gill on February 3, 1946 at the Brighton St. Paul Methodist Episcopal Church. Her husband preceded her in death in 1988. Surviving are two sons, Charles Gill of Newton, IA, and Frederic “Rick” Gill (Laura) of Alton. Also surviving and lovingly raised by her are Vicki Winchester of Alton, Bette Paul (Steven) of Fosterburg, Douglas Miller (Paula) of Dorsey, Debra Herrera (Frank) of Gilbert, AZ, Bruce Miller (Vickie) of Roswell, GA, and Becki Gill Rhyne (Randy) of Alton as well as numerous other nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Along with her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a daughter-in-law, Ann Gill, a granddaughter, Kathie Gill Smith, and her twin sisters who died at birth, Melba and Viola.

Visitation will be from 4:00-8:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at Gent Funeral Home in Alton. Funeral services will be private. Burial will be at Fosterburg Cemetery. A public celebration of Mabel’s life will be held at the Alton Museum at a later date.

Mabel’s wish was that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the Alton Museum of History and Art, 2809 College Ave., Alton, IL 62002. Online guestbook and information may be found at www.gentfuneralhome.com


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