Mary Anna Hayes Gill Rockefeller, 89, a long-time resident of Huntington, IN, passed away on January 4, 2021, at 6:05 p.m. at St. Anne Home and Retirement Community in Fort Wayne, IN.
Anna Rockefeller was born on March 19, 1931, in Washington, IN, to John L. and Eugenia (Bouchard) Hayes, who preceded her in death.
She and her first husband, Donald Richard Gill, M.D., grew up together in Washington, IN. They both graduated from Washington Catholic High School in 1949. Anna attended Purdue University and swam competitively for the Lafayette Swim Club. She was a member of the 400-yard freestyle relay team that set a new U.S. record in 1951 at the National AAAU Women’s Indoor Swim Meet. She competed in the 1952 Olympic swim trials, missed qualifying by a split second, but trained with the 1952 U.S. Women’s Olympic team as first alternate. Three decades later and still a swimmer, she became a U.S. Masters Mile National Champion and All-American in 1984.
Shortly before her Purdue graduation, Richard proposed and they married a year later. After completing medical school at Indiana University, he opened a family practice with Dr. R.B. Peare in Huntington, IN. There they raised five active children before his tragic death from cancer at age 42. Guided by her faith and grounded by lessons in character from her parents, she raised their three sons and two daughters. Her fourteen grandchildren were a delight to her, and she had special relationships with each and every one.
Anna was blessed to find love a second time. She married Rodney M. Rockefeller in 1980 and they had 17 wonderful years together. Rocky died on October 6, 1997.
Anna was an active member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Huntington. She worked at Brown and Rowe Shoe Store, as a secretary at Victory Noll and in customer service at Community State Bank.
She is survived by three sons, Charlie (Beth Molloy) Gill, Omaha, NE, David (Mary) Gillmarten, Alexandria, VA, and Christopher (Mary Anne) Gill, Kalispell, MT; two daughters, Amy (Brian) Dowd, Glen Carbon, IL, and Julie (Dan) McNamara, Fort Wayne, IN; and one brother, John (Kay) Hayes, Washington, IN. She is also survived by fourteen grandchildren, Michael Gill, Patrick Gill, Theresa Kirby, Andrew Gill, Charles Xavier, Sarah Gillmarten, Allison Gill, John Gill, Colin Dowd, Patrick Dowd, Anna McNamara, Nancy McNamara, Peter McNamara, and Sally McNamara and by 8 great grandchildren, Jackson, Evelyn, and James Kirby, Scarlet, Cecelia, and Ollie Gill, Azaiah Gillmarten, and Donovan Dowd.
She was also preceded in death by one brother, Michael Hayes; and three sisters, Helen Jane Thompson, Barbara Lukemeyer and Eugenia ”Gingie” Beck.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, 903 N. Jefferson Street, Huntington, IN, with Father Stephen Colchen presiding. Friends may call at the church from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. before mass. Burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Huntington, IN.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the IU Health Neuroscience Center, 355 West 16th St, Indianapolis, IN 46202.
Alzheimer's Association I.U. Neuroscience
715 N. Jefferson St. c/o McElhaney-Hart Funeral Home, Huntington IN 46750