Philip Ross Gill Sr.

  Philip Ross Gill Sr.Philip Ross Gill Sr. passed peacefully from natural causes at his residence in Ridgecrest, CA, during the

early morning hours of March 1, 2021. He was 84.

Philip was born December 15, 1936, in Altoona, PA, and was orphaned at a young age, so not much is known about his early years. In 1951 he entered Scotland School for Veteran’s Children (a military educational institution) near Chambersburg, PA, which shaped his future. Philip was involved in many extracurricular activities, excelled in sports and developed interests in public speaking, military science, and rocket technology. He was the sole speaker for the 1954 Memorial Day Service and earned the outstanding Non-Commissioned Officer Award prior to graduation in 1954.

Philip enlisted in the U.S. Army in June of 1954 where he was selected as a Drill Instructor upon completion of engineer training. He served as a demolition specialist, traveling to many countries, with Company A of the 237 Combat Battalion, was the Guidon Bearer for the drill team, and was honorably discharged June of 1957.

Philip met Judith Susan Miller in Hollidaysburg, PA, in July 1957. The attraction was mutual, and the

relationship of “The Two” naturally culminated with their marriage in Winchester, VA, on February 13,

1959. Philip and Judith moved to California, eventually settling in the Indian Wells Valley with their

children, where both were involved in many civic activities and community affairs. In his free time Philip

enjoyed auto racing, watching football, jogging, and building model airplanes.

Philip’s career was primarily focused on technology and research and development. Positions at Space

Ordinance Systems Inc., Trend Engineering and JPL, led to his interesting career at the Naval Weapons

Center (China Lake, CA) beginning in 1968. Philip started as an Electronics Technician and his duties

evolved to Engineering Tech, Sr. Dynamics Tech, Test Engineer, Test Specialist, and Program Manager

before retiring in 1990. Philip was also an accomplished Technical Writer with penmanship that rivaled

drafters and calligraphers. Prior to retiring Philip started his consulting business, Distant Horizons, which

kept him busy.

Philip is survived by his wife Judith Susan Gill; Children Philip Ross Gill Jr. (Pat), Susan Judith Gill-Dunn

(Craig Cook), and David Ross Gill (Adrienne Gallagher); Grandchildren Philip Ross Gill III, Ashley Seana

Molato (Gary), Shelli Raven Travers (Nicholas), Vanessa May Gill, Davia Rose Speed, and David Ross Gill

II; Great-Grandchildren Connor, Mason and Jacqelynn Molato, Peytynn Travers, Lukas Lee Wright, and

Lillian Rose Speed. Philip is preceded in death by his beloved pet, “Dr. Lee”.

The memorial is scheduled for March 16, 2021, at 9:30 am at Holland & Lyons Mortuary, 216 S. Norma St, Ridgecrest, CA. Interment will be that afternoon at 1:30 pm at the Arvin Veteran’s Cemetery, 30338 E. Bear Mountain Blvd, Arvin, CA. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Alzheimer’s & Dementia Research ( in Philip’s name.

Story First Published: 2021-03-12