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Obituary: Catalina Gill

Catalina Gill shared her stories of life from her native Chile to everyone around her. From her life as a nun, her political thoughts about Pinochet and the family that she left behind. Her aspirations in life were simple – to love and be loved and that is exactly what she found when she settled into her life in Port Washington for 42 years. It was there that Catalina began a new chapter of her life at the Silverstein household, helping to care for four young children. To the family, she imparted her joy of life, her values of respect and goodness and the importance of friendships. Catalina made friends wherever she went – everyone in town loved her sense of humor, her fabulous stories and she always made sure to tell them about “her family.”

Interestingly, Catalina’s English was limited, yet, absolutely everyone understood her. It was the smiles and the animated stories that said it all. Her closest friend was Julia Barraza who delighted in Catalina’s tales and treated her as a sister. Catalina never forgot her family in Chile, sending clothing and money and taking special care of her niece, Carolina, who she brought to the United States on several occasions.

She spent the last few years of her life at the Glen Cove Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation bringing her same joyfulness and youthfulness to all the people there. She was in fact ageless in so many ways, from her youthfulness to her looks and to the fact that she never actually let us know her true age in years.

Catalina recorded every moment of the Silverstein children’s lives, saving trinkets, attending every event and sharing in their joys and sorrows. She was to Scott, Neil, Nanci and Baron and their families, a doting grandmother and to Renee and Mike Silverstein, a loving aunt, each so fortunate to have had Catalina Gill in their lives.

Catalina Gill died on Aug. 12, 2009.