Marine Reservist Corporal Steven P. Gill, a director of Christian education (DCE) student at Concordia University in Austin, Texas, was killed July 21 in an explosion during a combat operation near Zaidon, Iraq. Funeral arrangements were pending as this Reporter went to press.
Gill, 24, of Round Rock, Texas, was entering his senior year at the university. He had wanted to become a pastor but decided to enter the DCE program because he enjoyed working with children. Gill had helped with the youth program at his congregation, King of Kings Lutheran Church in Round Rock.
Gill joined the Marine Reserves because “he was moved by what happened on 9-11,” his father, Bill Gill, told the San Antonio Express-News in a July 24 story. “When he saw those towers crashing, he had to do something.”
Reacting to his son’s death, the elder Gill told the newspaper, “We’ve lost a piece of our heart today.” His son “knew the sacrifice he might be called to make, and he accepted that,” he said.
Gill described his son as very funny, outgoing, and likable, according to the Express-News story. The younger Gill played guitar, golf, and pool, and was “a boisterous, can-do kind of guy. He was a leader,” said his father.
Concordia University President Thomas Cedel said the death “has hit everyone, especially the folks in our DCE program, really hard.” The university is asking Lutherans to keep the Gill family and Concordia students in their prayers, he added.
In addition to Bill Gill, survivors include Steven Gill’s mother, Rose, and brother, James, 27, who is a member of the National Guard.
Posted July 28, 2005