Rebecca A. (Becky) Gwillim, 98, of Los Altos died at 1:48p.m. Saturday May 12, 2018 at the Terraces of Los Altos. She was born Dec. 10, 1919 in Izmit, Turkey.
Becky was the daughter of Hagop and Yeranouhi (Mandalian) Apigian. She married Reese C. Gwillim July 3, 1946 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and he preceded her in death on July 21, 2005. She is survived by three daughters, Madeline D'Andrea and husband Joe, Roberta "Berta" Bower and husband Bob, Joan "Joanie" Burnside and husband Rob; one son Reese Gwillim and wife Lisa; five grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Joseph; and sister, Esther Harris of Los Altos.
Mrs. Gwillim attended Boulder School of Nursing, and worked at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital and at the offices of Drs. Dronkert, Carpenter, Wheat and Costales on Altos Oaks Drive. She was a member of Los Altos United Methodist Church. Becky was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide and came to the U.S. through Ellis Island as a 9-month old. She was raised in Fresno, CA amongst a large Armenian community. She met her husband through a patient she cared for while working at the hospital. He was an officer during World War II and they fell in love through letters, before they had ever met face to face. They made their home in Los Altos in 1957 after having lived in Schenectady, N.Y., Ft. Wayne, Indiana and Belmont, CA.
She loved playing bridge with her friends, was known for her pie baking and kept up with current events through classes at The Terraces. She was the fastest runner of all the students in her grade school and was chosen to sing solos later in life because of her lovely voice. She was beloved by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who will all dearly miss her.
A Memorial Service was held on May 22 with the Rev. Edna Andres officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Scholarship Fund of the Armenian American Nurses Association and will be accepted at the Spangler Mortuary in Los Altos. Online condolences may be made to the family by visiting www.spanglermortuary.com.