Celebrating the life of Robert Gill Engles
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In Gill’s early years he attended Providence Country Day School and was an altar boy at Saint Sebastian’s. He enjoyed listening to records with his siblings that his father, then the owner of WHIM, brought home from the radio station. Gill attended The University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was the goalie and captain of the CU lacrosse team. As a student, he enjoyed his brotherhood with Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and he continued to seek out his “brothers in the bond” around the world throughout his life.
After graduating with a degree in Sociology in 1969, Gill went on to play lacrosse professionally for the Brine factory team before taking a sales job in El Paso with the Standard Oil Company. With a year of sales experience under his belt - he went to work for his father’s travel agency, Church Travel - based out of Providence.
Gill’s gregarious personality helped grow the company from one million in revenue per year to twenty million. With household names as clients, it had become the largest in the state. In 1988, after such immense success, Bob was able to retire, and Gill ran the agency with the help of his capable staff. Through the Church Travel years, Gill enjoyed personally leading groups of individuals to wonderful and far off destinations. His exuberant personality, and ability to seamlessly navigate any and all situations, made him a unique and memorable leader. He had many interests and passions; but it was his genuine interest in people all over the world that endeared him to us all.
Gill was a lifelong sailor and skier, and he enjoyed these passions the world over. Living much of his life on the water in “The Ocean State” was a great source of enjoyment for him. He was a diligent man, studying ocean safety and regulation to ensure his friends and family were in the best of hands when the seas got rough. This was a character trait he wove throughout his many interests.
In his retirement to a town in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, he joined the Chafee County Search and Rescue Team. This commitment frequently took him to the top of fourteen thousand-foot peaks in the wilderness, on missions to find lost and hurt hikers - people who were always complete strangers to him. In this endeavor, he received the Chafee County Sheriff’s Life Saving Award for his selfless and heroic actions that resulted in the saving of a life after a rock slide at Agnes Vaille Falls on September 30, 2013, when Gill was 67 years old.
For the last nine years he had been “retired”, living in Salida Co., where he happily and skillfully served as the concierge to the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort, in Nathrup Colorado. He enjoyed staying fit and active with his two beloved golden retrievers, Ringo and Melinka, with whom he volunteered his free time in the cancer ward of the local hospital to visit and cheer up patients. Blessed with a warm, curious and outgoing personality, Gill was a dedicated father, a leader, a risk taker, and above all - a wonderful friend.
He is survived by his children, Robert Webber Engles and Lily Gill Scott and his two grandchildren, Ruby Gill and Walker Reid Scott, his five siblings: Richard, Lane, Philip “Doc” Engles, Jenny Engles Johnson, and Christina Engles;
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday at 10 am in the Church of St. Sebastian, 67 Cole Avenue Providence. Burial will be in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence. Calling hours Thursday from 4-7pm at Monahan, Drabble & Sherman Funeral Home, 230 Waterman Street, Providence, RI.
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