Emelie Cecelia O'Flaherty Gill, 99, of Bryan, Texas peacefully embraced the Lord on September 4, 2016. Emelie was born in Kansas City, Missouri on June 1, 1917 to Emelie Marie Gérard and Vincent Jerome O'Flaherty. She was the youngest of eight children. She attended high school at St. Teresa's Academy in Kansas City and lived by the motto of St. Teresa of Avila, "Deo Adjuvante Non Timendum" which means "With the help of God, we need not fear." She graduated from St. Teresa's College (now Avila University) in Kansas City receiving an art degree. One...
Emelie Cecelia O'Flaherty Gill, 99, of Bryan, Texas peacefully embraced the Lord on September 4, 2016. Emelie was born in Kansas City, Missouri on June 1, 1917 to Emelie Marie Gérard and Vincent Jerome O'Flaherty. She was the youngest of eight children. She attended high school at St. Teresa's Academy in Kansas City and lived by the motto of St. Teresa of Avila, "Deo Adjuvante Non Timendum" which means "With the help of God, we need not fear." She graduated from St. Teresa's College (now Avila University) in Kansas City receiving an art degree. One of her fondest memories as a young girl were her visits with her aunt and uncle, Katie and Frank Walsh, and often she reminisced of her fond memories visiting them at the Walsh Estate in Kansas City and their One Fifth Avenue apartment in New York City, NY.
As a young lady, Emelie worked as a commercial illustrator for fashion magazines. During World War II, her war effort included working for Wilcox Electric's North American Aviation Fairfax Plant in Kansas City drafting blueprints for artillery and military hardware for assembly of the B25 Mitchell Bomber. All her drawings were signed "EO'F". Emelie visited her fiancé and later husband, Patrick McCarren Gill, while he was training at Camp Bowie in Brownwood, Texas, traveling with his mother, Alicia McCarren. While he was in action overseas, she and Patrick corresponded daily via mail and telegrams. Emelie had a great love of art and music and sang with a beautiful angelic soprano voice. Over these years Emelie participated in the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church Choir, enjoyed the opera, and often traveled to New Orleans and Lafayette to visit her sister Catherine Madden.
On July 13, 1946 after her beloved returned from WWII they wed at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. They traveled to Minnesota and Canada for their honeymoon and settled in Omaha, Nebraska where they began their family. During these years she and her husband Patrick built a house and were active members of St. Margaret Mary's Catholic Church. Emelie reared five children and cared for her mother-in-law in their home. His civil service work relocated them to Houston, Texas in 1962.
As Patrick began work engineering the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center at the original location in Clear Lake, TX, Emelie became an active member of the altar society of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, a room mother for her children attending the elementary and high school and President of the NASA Society of Engineers Wives Club. She supported her children in all their endeavors in music, dance, athletics, and race car and motorcycle interests.
Emelie was a great supporter of her country, an advocate for Peace often participating in Peace Marches, as well as a political campaign volunteer. She was an accomplished seamstress and needlework artist making most of her children's and neighbor children clothes, as well as crocheting and knitting. She was known for designing from scratch wedding and prom dresses praiseworthy of Paris fashions. Her Irish lace crochet work is displayed on church altars and in many homes of her loved ones. She often sketched and loved pencil, pastel and ink as her favorite media.
After retirement Emelie and Patrick participated in the choir of Annunciation Catholic Church and attended Latin mass. Emelie actively volunteered to care for drug-exposed and disadvantaged infants at Jeff Davis Hospital in Houston and was honored by the City of Houston for her volunteer efforts. She traveled across town on the intercity bus as a firm believer of mass transit. During those years in Houston family and friends often fondly referred to her as "Ma Gill" and her husband as "Doc." They enjoyed their regular attendance of the Houston Grand Opera and Ballet (2nd Orchestra Row) and began traveling and often abroad with her sister Catherine Madden. In 1986, they moved to Bryan, Texas to be close to their daughters, Mary and Alicia. They immediately became members of St. Joseph's Catholic Church where Emelie was a founding and honorary member of the Mt. Carmel Rosary and Altar Guild. Her crocheted frontal alter cloths are often displayed at mass even today. In the Guild, Emelie made rosaries and scapulars for distribution to those in need in hospitals, prisons, missions abroad and schools. She and Patrick also participated in prayer for perpetual adoration, capital punishment victims and souls in Purgatory.
Emelie was always involved with her grandchildren, traveling to performances, events, weddings and graduations, even providing home day care. In their senior years they explored their heritage in Ireland and France, traveled abroad with senior tours, they served at home transporting many younger seniors from their long-term care facilities to mass or just to take them out for a nice meal. They donated funds to many organizations and always welcomed missionaries, priests, nuns and other clergy to their home. They sponsored many seminarians into the priesthood.
After the death of her beloved Patrick in 1998, Emelie continued to participate in Church activities and walked to all her destinations. In 2003 she moved to Austin to live with her daughter and son-in-law. In Austin she became a parishioner of St. Catherine Siena Catholic Church and attended daily mass with her son-in-law and continued to support the Mt. Carmel Rosary Guild making scapulars. She enjoyed attending the Austin Lyric Opera and Austin Symphony concerts, as well as live music venues where her daughter and son-in-law entertained. She enjoyed being a part of this music community and was loved by many musicians. She danced and sang at all the shows and participated in her daughter and son-in-law's first CD recording of their original work. While living in Colorado with her son for a short period, she was crowned Prom Queen at the annual Fort Collins City Wide Senior Prom. She also enjoyed traveling with her children to Hawaii, London, France, Europe, Bahamas, Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri, California, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
From 2009 to 2015 she lived at Grace House of Lake Travis and was well loved by all there. She continued to attend mass at St. Catherine's as well as Emmaus Catholic Church. In 2015 she moved back to Bryan to be near her daughter Mary. In these last years she continued to sing many times for the residents at her care facilities.
Emelie is survived by her children, Patrick Francis Gill and Laura Poole of Ft. Collins, CO, Berenice Marie Gill and Albert Gonzales of Albuquerque, NM, Vincent John Gill and Sharon Gill of Centennial CO, Mary Emelie Carson and Mitch Carson of Bryan, TX and Alicia Catherine Gill and Eric Ott of Austin, TX as well as her grandchildren, Rhune Gill, Zachery Gill, Ryan Kennard, Emelie O'Hara, Kiley Gill, Amelia Mayer, John Patrick Forrest, Renee Espat, Ken Gonzales, and Eric Gonzales, and six great-grandchildren. Emelie was predeceased by her beloved husband, Patrick McCarren Gill; son-in-law, Lawrence "Bear" Edward Mayer; son-in-law Michael Burke Davis; her parents Emelie and Vincent O'Flaherty; and all her brother and sisters. The family thanks the kindness and loving care of her personal aide and companion Elizabeth Thomas, who attended her in her final weeks, as well as the many care providers she had over the last nine years.
Emelie touched the hearts and lives of all she encountered over her 99 years. Fondly referred to as "Ma Gill," "Queen Mum," "Aunt Emmy" and that "Classy Lady Emelie" she was sunshine to all who knew her. Everything about her was magical; her smile catlike and enchanting; her eyes captivating and blue as the sky; she understood the power of silence; and her ever present joy was childlike. She was authentic, serene and profound. We wish her eternal peace and love with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
A Memorial Rosary will be held at Memorial Funeral Chapel, 1515 South College Avenue, Bryan, TX on September 16, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm with a rosary at 7:00pm. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Joseph's Catholic Church 507 E. 26th Street, Bryan, TX on September 17 at 10:00 am followed by a reception at the Parish Hall. Emelie will be interred next to her husband at the Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis, MO.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to your charity of choice in Emelie's honor. Suggested organizations:
Art Without Boundaries Association Music and Memory
Dementia Society of America