Lovingly memorialized by Jessica McKillip on January 17, 2021
Lovingly memorialized by Gerry Tseng-Gill on January 12, 2021
* Spending time with his family, playing board games
* Vacationing in Maui
* Cruising, especially unlimited crispy bacon at the breakfast buffet
* Shopping of any kind, but he loved the hunt in second-hand shops
* Drinking Diet Coke
* Playing his piano and singing for the family
* Caring for people as a nurse
* Loving JoJo, our chubby shih tzu that passed away in November 2020
* Going fishing
JOE'S KEY LIFE EVENTS
* October 12, 1956, born in San Antonio and was quickly adopted by Hildegard and Joseph Gill
* Graduated from Trinity University with a BA in voice performance
* Graduated from Texas Women's University with his RN license
* Was an ER/ICU travel nurse in several cities in Texas
* Moved to San Francisco and was a nurse in SF General AIDs ward & SF County Jail, became a nursing supervisor in a nursing home, detox center for the homeless & Saint Francis hospital, and eventually an inspector for the State of California, licensing and investigating complaints in hospitals and nursing homes
* Joined the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
* May 1998, adopted Elaine with Gerry shortly after her birth
* Received his BA and MA from San Francisco State
* Connected with his birth family
* Received his Doctoral in Management from University of Phoenix (ABD)
* August 24, 2013, married Gerry
* Transferred his job to Los Angeles, and moved so that Gerry could care for his sick father
* Transferred his job to Riverside County and moved to Cathedral City
* January 11, 2021, at 6:33 PM, passed away due to COVID-19 (4.5 weeks being sick, last 2-weeks in the Hospital, last 6 days in ICU), he fought long and hard, but just continued to decline until he had multiple organ failures, and the likelihood of recovering at all was very very slim, and if by a miracle he were to recover, he would have to live in a nursing home with an advanced oxygen system, would not be able to walk or talk.
ADVANCED HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVES
Joe and I discussed end of life preferences since we got our first Domestic Partnership "license" in 1996. He was very pain adverse and did not want to live a severely restricted life, let alone live in a vegetative state. It was so very reassuring to know that Elaine and I were able to fulfill his last wishes.
If you do not have an advanced directive, I would encourage you to not only get one so that your family has a written document outlining your desires, but also discuss your desires with your family. If you do not want extreme life-saving interventions, doing both will save them from having to struggle with your end of life decisions and their residual lifelong guilt. Doing this is a generous thoughtful gift to your loved ones.
Joe was a very strong person, having overcome many surgeries and health issues. We had no expectation that COVID would be his cause of death. He was only 64 years old. If you are age 18 or older you should have an advanced directive. Imagine the conflict a parent feels if their adult child was in a horrible accident and having to make these end of life decisions. On one hand, they want their child to survive at any cost, but on the other knowing that doing so will more than likely result in their caring for their child in a vegetative state and costing them all of their life savings.
The form that I like is available for free from UCLA. The form is acceptable by all healthcare organizations. It should be witnessed by two people or a notary for full legal standing. But simply signed, it does communicate your desires in writing to those who have to make medical decisions on your behalf.
If we had to do this over again, before going to the ER, we would first see if any of the hospitals in our area allow for a visitor at the end of a patient's life. Most hospitals do not allow this in ANY COVID ward, or ICU. This policy was not the desire of the medical staff, but rather an administrative decision to protect them from any liability and to make their staff's job easier. It is cruel, inhumane, and uncaring of these profit-driven organization's legal advisors and administrators.
COVID is a lonely pandemic. First, we are isolated and discouraged from meeting face to face; next, if you get sick you are totally isolated at home or in the hospital; finally, you die alone with no family there to care for you, express their love to you, say goodbye to you, etc. We were fortunate to be able to FaceTime Joe's passing. However, it was brutal and a far second from being able to say goodbye in person.
COUNTRIES JOE VISITED
Canada, China, Bahamas, Brazil, France, Grenada, Grand Cayman, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Portugal, Saint Martin, Spain, & Thailand.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, Joe would appreciate it if you would make a small donation to either of these organizations:
* Human Rights Campaign, a nation-wide non-profit supporting the rights of the LGBTQ community
When making our donation to HRC, please fill in their Send Notification of Gift to- Gerry & Elaine Tseng-Gill, [email protected], 35602 Tranquil Pl, Cathedral City, CA 92234
* Operation Smile, an international non-profit that repairs people born with a cleft lip and/or pallet free of charge, primarily in developing countries; Elaine was born with a bilateral cleft palate (inside her mouth), and without the repair, she could not eat enough to sustain herself.
* Elaine Tseng-Gill, his daughter
* Gerry Tseng-Gill, his husband
I will continue to update this page with more information about Joe's life. If you have any dates or details you feel should be included, please email them to me at [email protected] I would like your help in listing surviving members of his adopted family and half-siblings of his birth family.
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