Robert Ernie “Bobby” Gill was born August 22, 1933 and passed away at his home in Overton, Texas Saturday, April 17, 2021.
Gill’s Celebration of Life will be Saturday, May 1 beginning with fellowship at 10 am followed by a memorial at 11am. Location is the Assembly of God Church, Overton Texas with Atwell Hankins, officiating. Please come early and share all your treasured stories of Bobby with the family.
Gill, a son of Barron ”Bud” and Nettie Ella Mae Gill, was a lifelong resident of Overton, born and raised on Motley Hill, one of the famous areas in the East Texas Oilfield discovery. The Devonian /Gulf Oil camp on Motley Hill where he grew up, was always a special memory for Bobby as he worked with his Dad on the R.A. Motley oil lease until Gulf sold the field.
Bobby attended and graduated Overton High School in 1951. He was a four-year letterman halfback and Captain for Mustang football earning much fame in a game he truly loved. He also enjoyed other sports participating in Golden Glove Boxing at the famous Manziel Texas Oil Palace in Tyler.
Music was truly a gift Bobby possessed all of his life. From high school playing with the “The Rambling Mustangs” group, singing with family and most recently playing at the Assembly of God Church in Overton.
On one notable night, Bobby made the trip with his group of fellow high school musicians hitchhiking from Overton to the famous Louisiana Hayride in Bossier City, Louisiana. Headlining that night was Hank Williams Sr., who inspired them, and they strived to imitate.
Oil was definitely a lifelong pursuit as Bobby spent his career in the East Texas Oilfield. From roughneck to supply store manager, Bobby became well known as one of the proven premiere downhole pump repairmen in East Texas. In addition he mentored many of yesterday’s and today’s oilfield professionals. He completed his last pump repair at age 81 in 2015 before retiring.
Bobby loved animals and especially crafting the art of the deal. From his Uncle Jim Still, Grandma Gill’s brother, and many others, he was able to prove his skills and gained quite the reputation for horse trading as well as other items including historic guns.
That love for livestock was documented further in 1973 as Bobby gladly joined with Neil Osburn and Wayne Lacy to build the Kilgore College Rodeo arena just outside of Overton. Osburn provided the land, Lacy the welding, and Gill provided all the steel. The structure stands today as a testament to their unique passion.
Bobby was preceded in death by his parents as well as many brothers, sisters, grandchildren, and other family members.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy Garner Gill, and a sister, Gladys Large, both of Overton. In addition, he is survived by children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews, and nieces.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Assembly of God Church, 501 East Brandon St., Overton, Texas 75684.
Arrangements are under the direction of Cottle-Pearson Funeral Home, Overton.
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