John Gil



John Gil, 94, of King George, beloved husband and father, proud American and son of Poland, passed away Sunday, July 8, 2018.

Born in 1923, he saw the invasion of his homeland by the Nazi’s in 1939. He was forced to work in slave labor camps in both Poland and Germany, was liberated by American Allied troops in 1945 and made his way to France. In 1947, he sailed on a cargo ship to South America because the United States had limited the number of refugees they could take in. Mr. Gil had nothing but a wool uniform, the willingness to work hard, and the desire to be free.

After working at whatever jobs he could find, and sometimes sleeping in run-down sheds, he successfully managed several restaurants in Paraguay for 11 years. In 1958, Mr. Gil was finally allowed to enter the United States, earning an Engineering degree during the day and a high school diploma at night, all while still learning the language of the country he considered a paradise. A language that was one of nine he spoke fluently.

In the early 1960s, while working for GE as an engineer, he opened The Cardinal Restaurant in Salem, where in 1964, a beautiful young girl with auburn hair named Betty applied for a waitress job. Four months later, they were married. They would have celebrated their 54 wedding anniversary in December.

As well as having a deep love for both Poland and the United States, he was a devout Catholic who gave countless hours of service to St. Mary’s parish, and considered his greatest achievement that of passing on the faith to his wife and children.

Along with his wife, Betty; he is survived by three daughters, that he worshipped and was proud of, Michelle, Amanda, and Melinda; brothers-in-law Randy Holland, Douglas Smith, and Henry King; sister-in-law Patsy King; nephew Rev. Marian Gil, OMI; grand-nephews Tomek and Basia Gil of Kielce, grand-niece, Ana Cedro of Ireland, and many other nieces and nephews from both his and his wife's family that he loved dearly.

A rosary will be held at 6p.m. on Thursday, July 12 at Covenant Funeral Service, Fredericksburg with visitation to follow until 8 p.m.

A funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, July 13 at St Mary Catholic Church. Interment will follow in Oak Hill Cemetery.