Helen Shirley Gill, of Bemidji died Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 at Havenwood Care Center in Bemidji.
Funeral Services will be 11:00 am Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 at the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Interment will be Monday at the Temple of Aaron Cemetery in Roseville, MN.
Helen was born in Bemidji, the daughter of David and Bettie (Fink) Gill. She was raised and educated in Bemidji, graduating from Bemidji High School and the University of Minnesota with a business degree. She later received a Masters in Counseling from BSU. She worked with her brother Bill at Gill Brothers clothing which was started by their father in 1903 to serve the lumberjack community. She retired in 1980. She was the first woman to serve as President of Menswear Retailers of America. She was also was named into NY Women's Hall of Fame for lifetime achievements. She was very active in State and National Retailing Organizations, and also the Minnesota Retailers Board.
Helen was very active in community events. She founded "Art in the Park", a juried art show which has occurred every July for the last 46 years. She was selected as the first Friend of the Arts in 1989. She was an active member of the Paul Bunyan Playhouse Board of Directors for many decades. She was a member of the Bemidji Rotary Club. She was a long time member of the Bemidji Professional and Womans Club, one of the events she co-chaired was a style show that filled the high school auditorium when it was 35 degrees. She enjoyed going to Bemidji Country Club, in which her father was a charter member.
She loved her family especially her nephews. She liked to travel and had traveled to South America, Europe, Orient and Mexico and was a member of the million mile club on Pan American. She was never critical and was always understanding of people.
She is survived by 2 nephews: Jack Gill of Cleveland, Ohio, Jeff (Chris) Gill of Houston, Texas Close cousin: Irene (Dr. Larry) Fine of San Diego, CA
She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister- Noreen Gill and her brother Bill Gill.
Memorials are preferred to the donors choice.
Messages of condolence may be left at ceasefuneralhome.com.