On Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, Dr. Lynn Matthew Gill entered eternity into the loving presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Lynn was born on Jan. 21, 1945, in Pittsburgh, Pa., and moved to Southern California at an early age. In 1962 he graduated from Sunny Hills High School where he played football, ran track and was a yell leader.
After graduation, he attended the American Barber College in Long Beach and graduated as a licensed barber. For the next five years he worked as a barber which enabled him to further his education and pursue optometry.
During that time Lynn met the love of his life, Sally Andrews, and on Aug. 9, 1964, they were married and spent the next four years in Fullerton, Calif., where Lynn graduated from Los Angeles College of Optometry in 1968.
Soon after, he enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served for two years in Big Spring, Texas, as a Doctor of Optometry. There, Lynn developed his passion for flying and was able to get his pilot’s license through the Air Force Aero Club. Aviation became a big part of his life and he enjoyed instructing several close friends. Years later, it was his great delight to teach his son Brent to fly.
In September of 1970, Lynn and Sally moved back to Fullerton where they welcomed their first child, Lisa, into their family. Two and a half years later Brent was born. Also in 1970, Lynn began his private practice as an optometrist where he served the Fullerton area for nine years.
The pivotal decision to move out of Southern California to the beautiful town of Mariposa in 1979 was made after several visits to family members Jack and Tammy Andrews. Lynn practiced as an optometrist in Mariposa for 37 years and loved serving his patients and enjoyed his interaction with each one of them.
Shortly after moving to Mariposa, Lynn and his family started attending Little Church in the Hills where he gave his life to follow Jesus Christ and was baptized in 1981.
Service was a way of life for Lynn and he was incredibly active in his community. Rotary Club, Mariposa High School Grizzly Booster Club and spearheading the Sober Grad Nite with his wife Sally were some of his favorites.
One of Lynn’s greatest joys in life was serving the Lord at Grace Community Church where he was one of the founding elders. As a humble servant leader, he and Sally selflessly and sacrificially worked to meet whatever needs arose, from building maintenance to teaching young children about Jesus, to cooking, preaching and fixing cars, he did it all.
Second only to his love for the Lord was his love for his family, and although Lynn and Sally always worked hard, they loved to enjoy God’s blessings of family vacations, boating and camping. Lynn’s favorite times were spent with family and friends at the Colorado River.
Mission highlights of his life include two trips to Ethiopia where he was able to give eye exams and dispense glasses. Last summer Lynn served with Cross Culture Missions in Hungary, Italy and Austria. He was excited to return to Italy this February then on to the Philippines.
Lynn was preceded in death by his parents, LaVerne and Richard DeFendis. He is survived by his wife Sally of 55 years; daughter Lisa Forga ( Jimbo), son Brent Gill ( Jennifer); grandchildren Brittany Blecha, Kelsey Wass (Troy), Lauren, Gabrielle, and Trent Gill, Sydney Dewey (Bryan), and Jen and Gabrielle Forga; great grandchildren Brystol Wass, Sophia and Kaden Dewey, Ren Forga-Thornbury; sister Debbie Burke (John) and family, and his many dear friends.
A celebration of Lynn’s life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Grace Community Church of the Sierra, 3367 Woodland Drive, Mariposa. Following the service a catered luncheon will be provided at Building A at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds.
Memorial gifts in honor of Lynn can be made to Grace Community Church deacons fund (memo), which helps those in need within the church and community.
Published in the Mariposa Gazette, January 5, 2020.