Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Friday, 01 April 2016 16:07

Phoenix Sister Cities Ennis Committee Loses an Old Friend

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of former Phoenix Sister Cities Ennis Committee chairman Wil Gaughan who passed away at the age of 91 on March 18, 2016. Wil was a longtime member of the Ennis Committee and served as Ennis Committee chairman for a number of years.  He was a dedicated Phoenix Sister Cities volunteer and was a member of several Phoenix Sister Cities delegation visits to Ennis.  Wil was born in Centralia, Kansas, the last of 11 kids, on September 8, 1924. Wil was raised on a farm and rode a blind horse to school every day with his twin brother Victor. He enjoyed school and was Student Body President. In 1944 he joined the Navy and trained to be a Gunner, Bombardier, and Pilot. After the Navy he earned a Civil Engineering degree at Kansas State University in 1950. He was a Lifetime Member of Phi Kappa Catholic Fraternity. Wil was always busy in clubs, Junior Chamber of Commerce and was President of the Kansas State Boosters. In addition to his work with the Phoenix Sister Cities Ennis Committee, Wil was a Founding Member and very instrumental in the growth of the Irish Cultural Center in Phoenix. He loved Irish music and was able to enjoy it as he was in great health all the way until the end. In 1953 he married DeEtte and had four children. They came to Phoenix in 1965. He was involved in his children’s activities to include Boy Scouts and coaching. For 25 years he and DeEtte were very involved in the Desert Dance Club. He worked for 25 years for Salt River Project and was responsible for the Navajo Generating Plant. Wil was an active parishioner of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church for 50 years.   He is survived by his brother Robert, sister Rita, children, Charles of Phoenix, AZ, Rebecca of Seattle, WA, Charlotte (Daniel) Taylor of Hot Springs, AR, Victor (Margie) of Phoenix, AZ, grandchildren, Regina Gutierrez, Garth Gaughan, Daniel Gaughan and Allison Gerke, great grandchildren, Lorelai Gutierrez and Genevieve Gaughan. He was preceded in death by his wife DeEtte, parents, and eight brothers and sisters. 

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