Steve Gill ’69 may have been undecided about which high school to attend but one thing was certain – he was not going to 99th and Pulaski like most of his classmates. It was a meeting with Brother Pius that sealed the deal and helped Steve realize Marist was the school for him.
“It wasn’t until I saw Brother Pius, running up to our school, late for his meeting with us, that I made my decision,” Steve said. “There was just something about him that made it clear Marist was right for me.”
In only its third year of operation, Steve liked the newness of Marist, especially the fact that it didn’t have any seniors. In particular, he enjoyed English with Larry Malito and credits Brother Paul Stokes, who was the dean of discipline with helping him get back on track at a time he needed it most.
When he wasn’t working after school, Steve participated in intramurals, bowling and track. He also sought out opportunities for service and fondly remembers feeding families at holiday soup kitchens.
During his sophomore year of college, Steve lost his mom. So, being the oldest of five kids, he decided to leave school to help his dad, who was starting a new business. Eventually, Steve’s brothers came on board and they grew the business for 42 years until a company from Wisconsin made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. Steve was asked to stay with the company and is still employed there today.
According to Steve, Brother Paul kept him at Marist while Brother Pat Magee, who he met while his boys attended Marist, brought him back in. “I was more involved at Marist when my boys were there,” Steve said. “I joined the Father’s Club working my way up to club president. I was pushed along in this endeavor by Brother Pat.”
A proud father, it meant a lot to Steve when his sons – Jeff ’98 and Dan ’00 – enrolled at Marist. Unfortunately, Marist was not coed at the time his daughter Stephane was entering high school. Interestingly, Steve now joins his son Dan as a Time and Eternity recipient.
“Dan was the very first person to receive the award in 2010,” Steve explained. “After 9/11, Dan left college to join the Army, ultimately becoming a Green Beret. As a family, we are in awe of his service to our country.”
Knowing the sacrifices their son has made, Steve and his wife Donna help military families through the USO. In particular, they help new graduates settle in and help families of fallen heroes get to Dover Air Force Base to witness the dignified transfer of their fallen soldiers.
“I am honored to receive the Time and Eternity Award…mostly because of the people that have received the award before me,” Steve said. “They've set the bar pretty high.”