Obituaries

James “Jim” Garner Gill, 55, of Cornwall

JAMES “JIM” GARNER GILL

CORNWALL — James “Jim” Garner Gill lost his quiet, lifelong battle with anxiety on May 3, 2021, dying by his own hand in Cornwall.
Born Feb. 3, 1966, in Middlebury, James was the son of Garner and Florence (Burgess) Gill. He was raised on his parents’ dairy farm in Cornwall, where as a boy he worked alongside his dad milking cows, tending crops and repairing machinery. He always loved being at the farm. Jim would proudly recall driving the old tractors before his feet could even touch the tractor deck.
In later years, Jim built his own home on the family property, where he resided until his death. He took pride in maintaining the grounds and the extensive system of trails he built, which connected his home to his mother’s, brother’s, and all other points of the property.
Jim attended Middlebury Union High School, graduating in 1984. After several years apprenticing under Thad Bronson of Bronson’s Marine, Jim purchased the Cornwall business in July 1993 and founded Champlain Valley MotorSports. He ran the recreational vehicle dealership successfully for three decades, growing it to encompass ATV, side-by-side, and zero-turn sales and storage in addition to the snowmobile and marine lines.
Jim loved all things motorized and felt fortunate to share his passion for snowmobiles, ATVs, and boats with his community and friends. He was an active member and volunteer with VAST (Vermont Association of Snow Travelers), promoting the development and grooming of snowmobile trails in Addison County. In his younger years, Jim competed in both drag and sno-cross racing, always being a strong competitor and winning many races.
Jim was an avid hunter and spent many early mornings in the deer stands that he constructed. One of Jim’s greatest joys was in hosting his friends at the farm, where everyone was welcome. There were always stories and laughs to be shared over beers. Jim played men’s league softball for many years and in more recent years developed a love for golfing.
Jim leaves behind his loving girlfriend, Pamela Bedard; two sons, Robert and Nicholas; mother, Florence; brother, Brian (Kelly) and their children Ian, Adam, and Drew; the mother of his children, Melissa (Carpenter) Gill and her family; many cousins; and countless friends and customers. He was predeceased by his father, Garner and father-in-law, Russell Carpenter.
The family wishes to thank Jim’s close friends who were there for him in his time of need. They are also deeply grateful for Jim’s longtime, devoted employees Mike Paquette, John Richmond and Andrea Hornbeck, who have kept Champlain Valley Motorsports running in Jim’s absence.
Visiting hours for family and friends will be held Friday, May 7, from 5-7 p.m., at Sanderson Funeral Home located at 117 South Main St., Middlebury. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Saturday, May 8, at 10 a.m., at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Middlebury, with the Rev. Luke Austin as the celebrant. COVID restrictions apply; please wear a mask.
A catered reception will immediately follow at Champlain Valley MotorSports located at 2394 Route 30, Cornwall.
A private burial will follow at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Jim’s memory be made to Addison County VAST, c/o Jen Lucia, 177 Pulp Mill Bridge Road, Weybridge, VT 05753 or to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Vermont), 600 Blair Park, Suite 301, Williston, VT 05495.◊

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