An influential woman who was instrumental in teaching thousands of children to swim has passed away.
Jean Haston Gilley died Thursday. She was 92.
Mrs. Gilley, along with her late husband Bill, directed Red Cross swimming lessons for 30 years. Gilley Pool was named in their honor upon its opening in 2003.
“I’ve known Mrs. Gilley for 30 years and she was a true community servant,” said Carlene Brown, who served as Parks and Recreation director for many of the years the Gilleys organized swim lessons.
“She loved our Lord and all of the children in Warren County," said Brown. "She and her husband, Bill, dedicated their lives to the Red Cross program and the Learn to Swim program. It was because of their hard work and dedication that we were able to build Gilley Pool, which we named after them. The pool opened on a Saturday in June 2003. The next day, as we walked around the location, Mrs. Gilley saw all of the children laughing and enjoying the pool and told me, ‘This is the greatest day of my life.’”
Brown noted Mrs. Gilley also had a dream of bringing an indoor pool to McMinnville.
Mrs. Gilley was treasurer of the Warren County Chapter of the American Red Cross, an active member of McMinnville Legal Secretaries and a former member of Business and Professional Women.
Mrs. Gilley served many important roles and was a strong beacon of light for Warren County.
“Warren County is a better place because of Jean Gilley,” said Patricia Zechman, fellow church-goer with Mrs. Gilley at First Baptist. "Her true legacy will be the life of faith and commitment she lived as a believer in Jesus and a servant to His teachings."
Funeral service for Mrs. Gilley is Friday at First Baptist Church. Obituary information is available on 2A.