Lillian ‘Lil’ Gavin, 82


Lillian “Lil” Gavin, 82, of New Lisbon was carried in the arms of the angels to heaven on Nov. 5, 2012.

Lillian was born on May 16, 1930, in Tomah.

She was the youngest of 16 children born to Frank and Mary (Cass) Delaney. During her youth she lived and attended school in the Camp Douglas and Necedah areas, and graduated from Necedah High School.

On Sept. 11, 1948, Lillian married the love of her life, Bernard Gavin of Lyons, Ill. They had four children and were happily married for nearly 62 years. Barney and Lil traveled together to see all 50 states as well as Europe. During her life she was a telephone operator, a waitress, a homemaker, and owner-operator of Point Bluff Resort in Wisconsin Dells. After more than 20 years at Point Bluff Resort, Barney and Lil retired to the Buckhorn Acres area of New Lisbon until Barney’s death in August 2010, when Lillian moved to Jackson Crossings Retirement Community in Jackson.

Lillian was a loving and caring mother and grandmother. She had a good sense of humor and a love for music. Her children have fond memories of cleaning house to music from “My Fair Lady” and “South Pacific.” Lillian was compassionate; she was at the bedside and helped several of her siblings at the end of their lives. Lil emphasized to her family the importance of frugality: Watch what you spend and how you spend it. Although she came from humble beginnings, Lil was generous and helped people who were not as well off. She encouraged others to help people in need. One example of that generosity occurred when Lil heard of a cousin who didn't have enough money for the costs of a hearse for a family funeral; Lil covered the expense. Lillian would also invite people who didn't have family in the area to join her family for holiday dinners. She always emphasized to her children that she had faith in God and that no matter which religion you followed, it was important to participate.

During the last two years, Lillian told each of her children that she was ready to leave this earth and be back with Barney. We expect that Barney is also happy that they are together again. They always enjoyed dancing and we imagine they are dancing to the “Beer Barrel Polka” in the halls of heaven.

Lillian is survived by four children: Kathy (Rocky) Shepherd of Mauston; Debra (Don) Dricken of West Bend; Amy (Tom) Gavin-Zachek of Colgate; and Scott (Deirdre) Gavin of Wisconsin Dells; nine grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; one brother, Leo (Valerie) Delaney of Wisconsin Rapids; and many nieces and nephews.

Lillian was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 61 years, Bernard (Barney) Gavin; two granddaughters, Dee (Shepherd) Bainbridge and Denise (Shepherd) Brewer; four brothers: James, William, Joseph, and Robert; and 10 sisters: Nellie, Florence, Josephine, Bessie, Hazel, Violet, Virgie, Sarah, Ellen, and Betty.

The family would like to express their gratitude to Jackson Crossings Retirement Community (Jackson), the Kathy Hospice (West Bend), and Dr. Peter Cornelius for the compassion and care shown to Lillian.

Funeral services will be held at noon Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, at the Church of the Nazarene, 973 Nazarene Drive, Mauston, WI, 53948, where friends may call from 11 a.m. until time of services. Burial will be at the Mauston Cemetery.