We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Erickson and Brown
It is with extreme sadness and heavy hearts that our family shares the passing of the patriarch of our family, Farris Brown Gill. Farris was born in New Middleton, Tennessee, on December 7, 1937, and passed from this life in Mercy Hospital on May 30, 2022, following a long, hard-fought battle with kidney disease. Farris was the only child of Keifer Brown Gill and Addie Mae Farris Gill. In 1941, the family moved from Tennessee to Fellows, California, and then on to Taft in 1950. Farris graduated from Taft Union High School in 1955. On October 14, 1957, Farris married his high school sweetheart, Beverly Jean Ruff. They had their first son, Darrell, in 1958, their second son, Dwayne, in 1960, and their third son, David, in 1961 (the three later became known in and around the Taft area as the “Gill Boys”). Beverly passed too soon from injuries sustained in an auto accident.
Farris began working for Belridge Oil Company, subsequently Shell Oil in 1957. He retired from Shell (Facilities Engineering Department) in 1993 after 37 years of service. Farris was a founding member of the Belridge Credit Union and continued as a board member when it merged with Chevron Valley Credit Union. Farris enjoyed boating and water skiing, and working the boat drags for the Kern County Boat Club. He also played fast-pitch softball on several teams sponsored by local Taft businesses. Farris was an avid golfer and a member of Rio Bravo Country Club until issues with his knees made it too painful to play. Farris also had a passion for cars. He bought and sold old cars and eventually bought the first of two street rods. He participated in numerous Western Street Rod Nationals at the fairgrounds. Farris was an exceptional cook and was known by many for his barbequed tri-tip. One of Farris’ most cherished activities was volunteering on medical missions to Guatemala, orchestrated by Deanna Salyards, through HELPS International, first as a macgyver and then as a cook. He loved these yearly missions which he continued until his kidney disease prevented him from going.
In July of 1981, Farris met Jeanne Duncan Billington on a blind date. They married in 1985, and Farris instantly became the quintessential example of being a stepparent to her two daughters, Holly and Stacey, then age 10 and 7. He taught them how to drive a car, how to change a tire, how to assemble anything following the directions, and, their favorite of all, how to chop sticker weeds. Our blended family gatherings were always filled with love and laughter.
Farris was a giant of a man among men and was loved by so many. He was a friend to everyone and enemy to no one. Farris’ finest quality was his immeasurable love and devotion to family and friends. He was kind, generous, intelligent, had a great sense of humor, a love for the Lord, and a willingness to help anyone in need.
Farris was predeceased by his mother and father, his 1st wife, Beverly, and numerous extended family and friends. He leaves behind to grieve his passing and to celebrate his life his loving and devoted wife, Jeanne; sons Darrell (Denise), Dwayne, and David; his daughters of the heart, Holly Ferrer (Alfred) and Stacey Jones (Jeff). He is also survived by his grandchildren, Ashlee Burell (Jeff & family), Tyler Gill (Brittnee and family), Bailey Gill, Kylee Gill, Clois Jones, Gavin Jones, Anderson Ferrer, and newest great-grandson Everett David Gill. Also mourning his passing are in-laws Carolyn and Carl Hawkins; loving friends, Barb & Jim Holliday, Dena & Bill Shortt, Deanna & Larry Dickerson, Connie & David Polm, and Stuart Ree. The family would like to express a special thank you to Dr. Caroline Wong, Davita Brimhall, and especially to Deanna Salyards of Golden Family Medical for the many years of tender loving care she provided to Farris.
Graveside services will be held on Friday, June 10th at 11:00 a.m. at Westside District Cemetery, in Taft. Please dress casually if planning to attend. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Erickson & Brown Funeral Home in Taft, CA.