A Loss to Heelan and Siouxland

Farewell Leonard Gill, Class of 53
Posted on 04/18/2022
Heelan mourns the loss of Leonard Gill, 1953 Heelan grad and the first recipient of our "Crusader of the Year" award, who passed into eternal life April 14.

Here is the text in the Crusader Connection about the Heelan award presented to him during a live streamed Heelan Auction in June 2020 when covid kept most guests away from the Heelan Auction.

"Leonard Gill ’53 tells everyone that 'coming to Heelan was the best thing that ever happened to me.'

At Heelan he played football, ran track, wrestled and boxed. He hitchhiked from Jackson to Heelan every day, and worked as a part-time orderly at St. Vincent’s Hospital.

After Heelan he worked construction and eventually started his own firm and launched Gill Hauling, a successful area business. He never forgot his alma mater.

Over the years Leonard has attended hundreds of Heelan games and events. His company helped prepare the entire site for our new Heelan High School. 

After Heelan’s new Fine Arts Building opened, Leonard became a member of the PRIDE II Campaign Cabinet and called on others to donate to the PRIDE Campaign for Heelan’s classroom addition.

Leonard then assisted with the artificial turf project at Memorial Field. He helped obtain the land and move the building that today serves as the administrative offices for the school system. 

Leonard has been a consistent annual sponsor for the Gold Club and Heelan Auctions where he has been a generous bidder in our live auction segment. 

Most notably, Leonard has gathered his Heelan classmates together for monthly luncheons at “Leonard’s Pond” in Jackson. He is father to Heelan grads Robert, Bernie, Ginger and Jeanie and grandfather to Heelan grads Melissa, Kyle and Brandon. 

Leonard is known for his goodwill, business smarts, humility, storytelling, philanthropy for countless organizations, his devotion to his Catholic faith and love of humankind. A community leader who has been honored with multiple awards, he has always thanked others who helped him along the way." 

We are truly proud to name Leonard Gill as the inaugural recipient of our Crusader of the Year award.
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