Marion R. Gill, age 84 of Perham, died Thursday, December 22, 2022 at Perham Living.
Marion was born November 14, 1938 in Spring Valley, MN to Donald and Evelyn (Larson) Gill.
He attended and graduated from Spring Valley, MN. Marion was co-captain of the football team in the 1956-57 school year. They were undefeated for 21 games and District Champions for three years. After finishing high school, he worked for the Fillmore County Soil Conservation District in Preston, MN. He remained with the Soil Conservation Service in East Otter Tail and Stearns County until 1969. Marion was heavily involved with planting over a million trees annually in East Otter Tail County. He never hesitated to point out which trees were planted by him.
On July 11, 1958, Marion was united in marriage to Donna Buchholtz at Summer Center United Methodist Church in Spring Valley. In 1959, they relocated to Perham to be in lake country.
In 1967, Marion earned his pilot’s license after trading a snowmobile for flying lessons. He logged over 5000 hours of flying time. He and his family joined the Minnesota Flying Farmers in 1971. They attended State and International meetings and conventions. He owned a Cessna Taildragger, Beechcraft Musketeer, Cessna 175, and 1946 Aircoupe.
Marion had vision and made his dream of living on a lake come true 1970 when they purchased a farm on Devil’s Lake. It was here that he and Donna created the Aerovilla Housing Development. He had a vision of having an airplane landing strip on his property that would connect to homes. The family would decorate his aircraft with Christmas lights and display it in the front yard during the holidays.
Marion worked for Ronald Offutt Potato Co. for 35 years in many roles such as purchasing/leasing land, purchasing chemicals, and fertilizer. Negotiation was one of his many strengths.
Marion loved to socialize and even after he was diagnosed with dementia approximately six years ago, he never lost his sense of humor. He was a member of many committees and clubs. He was a Shriner, served on the East Otter Tail Soil Conservation Board for 12 years, the County’s Shoreline Variance and Ditch Review Committee, and Central Minnesota Irrigators Committee. He received several awards for his contributions around the community. In 1979, he was given the Outstanding Effort Award by Ronald Offutt and Sons, a Denzil Cooper Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irrigation in 2011, and he and Donna received the Red River Valley Farmer’s and Homemaker Award in 2013.
Marion was involved in the Shriners and participated in parades as a tiger and was a 50-year member of the Perham Masonic Lodge #157.
When Marion was not flying, his other hobbies included hunting deer and fishing. He especially loved catching sunfish on Little Devils Lake.
Marion is survived by his wife, Donna Gill; children, Susan (Larry) Toms and Richard (Jill) Gill, both of Perham; his sister, Ann (Bob) Jensen of Byron, MN; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Evelyn Gill.
Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a prayer service at 6:30 on Monday, December 26 at Schoeneberger Funeral and Cremation Service in Perham. Visitation will resume beginning at 10:00 a.m. followed by the funeral service at 11:00 on Tuesday, December 27 at the funeral home. Interment will be in Calvary Memorial Cemetery near Perham.
The family would like to recognize Perham Living Day Services for 1.5 years and Hospice of the Red River Valley for the exceptional care provided to Marion and the family over the past 9 months
Memorials may be made to the Hospice of the Red River Valley, American Legion Post 148 in Dent, MN that he was a member of and part of the Honor Guard, or the Perham Area Community Center which he enjoyed.
Schoeneberger Funeral & Cremation Service, Perham, MN (218) 346-5175 www.schoenebergerfh.com