Daniel E. Gill
Daniel E. Gill, of Rochester, N.Y., beloved and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, the former chairman and CEO of Bausch and Lomb, has died at the age of 81.
Born on June 24, 1936, in Zeigler, the son of Herrin and Ethel Gill, he graduated from Anna-Jonesboro Community High School in 1954 and Northwestern University in 1958. His first job was as an auditor for Arthur Anderson.
While on an audit, he met the love of his life, Dorothy McBride. They married in 1960 and soon had four children: Debbie, Denise, Daniel and Diane. As the head of the “Six D’s,” Dan led his family on a loving and exciting life journey. While Dan was a corporate and civic leader, he was truly a family man, and his real passion was spending time with his wife, children and extended family.
Mr. Gill spent his early career with Ross Laboratories as executive vice president in Columbus, Ohio, and then moved to Abbott Laboratories in the suburbs of Chicago, where he became corporate vice president and then president of the hospital products division.
The family then relocated to Rochester, N.Y., where he was chairman and CEO of Bausch and Lomb for 18 years. He is credited with transforming B&L from a $250 million ophthalmic company to nearly $2 billion internationally recognized consumer and medical brand leader in the field of health care and optics. He loved running Bausch and Lomb: the challenges of the work, and the fun of sponsoring the Olympics and the Amelia Island Tennis championships.
He was deeply committed to Rochester and used his business leadership and expertise to support the city and many of its key civic organizations. He served as a director of numerous local organizations, including the Frontier Corporation, Welch Allyn Incorporated, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Greater Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
He was instrumental in the building of the modern Rochester International Airport and the resurgence of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. His awards and honors in Rochester were numerous, including the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Civic Award in 1987, the Rochester Museum and Science Center Civic Medal in 1987, the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Leadership Award in 1990, the University of Rochester Presidents Medal in 1993, and the Catholic Family Center Award in 1994, among others.
His expertise was also sought after nationally. He served on the board of directors of Reebok International, Dial Corporation and Gulf Stream Aerospace. He was chairman of the Business Council of New York State, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange Listed Company Advisory Council, and chairman of the Health Industry Manufacturers Association, among others.
Not one to remain idle for any period of time, he spent his later years transforming houses in Naples, Fla. With a small team, he redesigned, reconstructed and sold numerous homes. He also served as a board member of St. Anne’s Parrish and NCH Healthcare System, and was a member of The Port Royal Club, the Naples National Golf Club and the Moorings Country Club.
He had a passionate love for life, and led his family with a joy for new adventures. He was always there for his children and grandchildren, whether it was to chat on the phone or provide advice on a life topic. There were family vacations in Michigan, bike rides, fishing trips and touch football games in the backyard.
He loved to host family celebrations, including Thanksgiving and the annual Fourth of July reunion at Canandaigua Lake. The family home in Naples, Fla., was his pride and joy. Dan and Dorothy spent many years entertaining their children and grandchildren for spring break and long weekends, always ready to have a cocktail and watch the sunset at 5:30 sharp.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy and their children, Deborah Hilzinger (Kurt), Denise Nash (Douglas), Daniel Gill (Debra) and Diane Denning (Edward); 16 grandchildren Jack, Grant, Bradley, Anna Hilzinger; Maggie, Grace, James, Andrey Nash; Daniel, Dorothy, Douglas, Duncan Gill; Hannah, Andrew, Ryan and Hayes Denning; and two sisters, Janet Smith and Kathy White.
He will be deeply missed by all who knew him, especially his wife, children and grandchildren. He leaves a legacy of dedication to family, a commitment to hard work and an appreciation for a continuous sense of fun and adventure.
Friends may attend a Memorial Mass at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at St. Thomas More Church, in Rochester, N.Y. Interment will be at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in his name to The Institute for the Family at the University of Rochester at https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/psychiatry/institute-for-the-family/givin...
To leave a message or condolence for the family, visit www.anthonychapels.com.
Anthony Funeral Chapels in Rochester, N.Y., are in charge of arrangements.