Ocean City Today
https://oceancitytoday.villagesoup.com/p/1668896

Lynne Conner Gillen

Jul 13, 2017
Lynne Conner Gillen

printed 07/14/2017

Bishopville

Lynne Conner Gillen, age 77, died Wednesday, July 5, 2017 at her home with her loving husband at her side.

Born in Ithaca, New York, she was the daughter of the late John William Conner and Margaret Sturm Conner.

She is survived by her husband of 51 years, Jack Gillen. Also surviving are her children, Jacqueline “Jackie” Ball and her husband, Kevin, of Ocean City, Caryl Cardenas and her husband, Hugo, of Ocean Pines and Margaret Boyd and her husband, Greg, of Washington, D.C.

There are seven grandchildren, Conner “Wes” Bresnahan, Ian Bresnahan, Andrew Ball, Elyssia Cardenas Kaplan, Spenser Cardenas, Emma Boyd and Elizabeth “Lizzie”Boyd.

She is also grateful for the many years of loving care received from her wonderful caregivers, Tiara Johnson, Amie Twilley, Marie Purnell and Ashley Jones. Her amazing care was overseen by Cyndi Hill Truitt who loved her like a daughter.

She was preceded in death by her sister, Joanne Conner Gastl.

At the age of 12, Lynne contracted polio, although her great-grandmother, Willye Conner Ludlum, owner of the Hastings Miramar Hotel, refused to believe it happened while she was vacationing in Ocean City.

She spent one year in a rehabilitation home in Ithaca recovering from the polio. Stories of the escapades pulled off by her and the other children were told for many years. Lynne never allowed the polio to hold her back in any way.

Lynne attended Ithaca High School where she met her teacher, Mr. Robert Holgate, who influenced her life long love of literature and who unknowingly taught her some of her most valuable life lessons. Throughout the years, her children often heard Mr. Holgate quoted.

She attended Cornell University as an English major but spent most of her free time in the School of Hotel Management where her father was a professor. She met her first husband, Bill Eaton, and they were married in Sage Chapel on the Cornell University campus. Although the marriage was short lived, their friendship would continue for a lifetime.

Lynne returned to Ocean City in 1964. Looking for a job to support her two young children, she interviewed at the radio station WETT. A young disc jockey just happened to be at the station that day and told his boss, “Hire her. I don’t care what she can do, I’ll train her everything I know.” One year later, Lynne and Jack Gillen were married.

Both were passionate about music. Lynne loved Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett and the Big Band music from her parents. Together they enjoyed Dave Brubeck. Endless nights were spent listening to hundreds of albums as Jack searched for new music for his job in radio. After living in Philadelphia for five years, the family moved back to Ocean City.

In 1975, Lynne began her career as owner and operator of Park Place Parking Lot and Boardwalk shoppes. She had a vision for the future of the property which required her children acquiring the necessary skills and education to build and operate a hotel.

In 1999, Lynne began the process of designing and building the Park Place Hotel. The hotel opened in 2000 and Lynne worked for several years until her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. She instilled in all of her daughters her commitment to detail and customer service. Countless guests have reminisced about Lynne walking the halls of the hotel inspecting the rooms and hand delivering items to hotel guests.

Lynne was a charter member of the Ocean City Downtown Association and the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce. She planned dinners for the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association and the Dunes Club for many years. She was a member of the St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church.

A funeral service will be held on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Berlin. Rev. Matt D’Amario will officiate. Interment will take place at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church Ocean City at a later date.

Donations may be made to the John H. “Jack” Burbage Oncology Center Building Fund of Atlantic General Hospital, 9733 Healthway Dr. Berlin, Maryland 21811.

Arrangements are in the care of Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin. Letters of condolences may be sent to the family at burbage@burbagefuneralhome.com.

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