Dr. L. Samuel Gill JR., passed away peacefully on November 4th, 2023, surrounded by his significant other and children in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was born September 19th, 1941, in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lester (Mutt) and Hazel Gill; Niece, Lara Thomas.
He is survived by his significant other Paulette Cagle; Sister, Becky Winkler, Brother Ronald Gill; his three children, Taylor Gill, Amy Martin (Calder), Curt Gill and their mother Sharon Gill; Grandchildren Samuel (Haley), Tucker, Calder, Willa, Davis, Curtis, and Louisa; Great grandchildren Ellie and Tripp; as well as his niece and nephews, Lori, Trey, and Phillip; along with other family members.
In 1959, Sam graduated from Soddy-Daisy High School as valedictorian. During the 1958 season, he was a member of the Trojan football team that finished 10-1, earning honorable mention all-state and all-city honors as a running back. His roots were in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, and he was proud of his hometown. He always said, “I literally grew up in Mayberry.” He was inducted into the Soddy Daisy Hall of Fame in 2015.
While attending the University of the South at Sewanee, he earned a full academic and football scholarship while playing for the late Shirley Majors. As a student and a football player at the University of the South, Sam Gill excelled in both areas of study and athletics. He lettered in football for four years and served as co-captain of his senior team. As a Cum Laude graduate and Rhode Scholarship Candidate, he was forced to turn down the scholarship in order to pursue his dream of attending dental school at the University of Tennessee. From Sewanee University, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Tennessee at Memphis. In recognition of his achievements, he was elected to the National Dental Honor Society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU). In 1969, he received his Master's of Science from UT Memphis in Pediatric Dentistry.
He began his dental career with the North Carolina Public Health Department. In 1969, he opened his Pediatric Dental Practice in Chattanooga where he practiced for over 50 years. Dr. Gill provided treatment to thousands of children in the Chattanooga area. In his office, ice cream machines and video games were staples children looked forward to when visiting Dr. Gill for treatment.
Seminars and alumni meetings enabled him to remain active in pediatric dental education. The American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Tennessee Dental Association, and Chattanooga Area Dental Society are all organizations of which he was a member.
Tennis, motorcycling, and boating were some of his hobbies. Having completed a private pilot's license himself, he enjoyed flying to the University of Tennessee football games. Spending time with his children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren was one of his greatest pleasures.
Among his many accomplishments in the Soddy Daisy community, he was instrumental in starting the Soddy Daisy Little League Football, which led to the formation of the Soddy Daisy KIDS Club. In the early 1970s, he was a member of the committee that obtained property from TVA for the construction of Soddy Lake ball fields.
He once said, “I have had a very good life, doing just about everything I have ever dreamed of doing.”
A memorial service is scheduled for 1:00 P.M. Friday, November 17, 2023, at Williamson & Sons Funeral Home, 8852 Dayton Pike, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee 37379. A private family burial will follow at 2:00 P.M.
Visitation will be held from 4:00-7:00 P.M. Thursday, November 16, and 12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M. on Friday, November 17, 2023, with services to follow. A Celebration of Life will take place from 4:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. Friday, November 17, 2023. (Location to be announced).
Expressions of sympathy may be expressed through contributions payable to Soddy Daisy Kids Club, ATTN: Treasurer Jake Lowe, 10143 Hunters Hollow Drive, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee 37379.
Condolences and memories can be shared at www.williamsonandsons.com.
Arrangements are by Williamson and Sons Funeral Home, 8852 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy, TN 37379.