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Gerald Alfred Gilman

December 24, 2017

Cremation has taken place and burial will take place at Fort Custer at a later date. There will be no visitation or public service. A gathering of family and friends to celebrate his life will be held at a later date.

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On Sunday, December 24, 2017, the life journey of Gerald Gilman came to an end at age 97. He was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on August 19, 1920 to Cornelius Isaac and Harriet (Vander Molen) Gilman and was a life-long resident of Kalamazoo and winter resident of Rio Verde, Arizona.

Gerald graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School where he was captain of the football team and lettered captain of the basketball team which went on to win the State Championship in 1938.
Gerald married his childhood sweetheart, Thelma Newhouse on May 9, 1941. After high school, both Gerald and Thelma attended and graduated from Kalamazoo College where he was also captain of the football and basketball teams. Upon graduation, Gerald was immediately drafted into service by the Army Air Corp during World War II.

Upon the end of his duty, he returned to Kalamazoo and worked in the commercial printing industry and eventually started his own business, Premiere Printing in Plainwell Michigan. Gerald retired in 1987 and split his time between Kalamazoo and Rio Verde Arizona.

Gerald is survived by his daughter and son both of Kalamazoo and their families: daughter, Sandra Gilman (significant other, Dave Crosser); grandchildren, Marin (Norton) and Eric Parker; Christopher and Jenny Norton; great grandchild, Mason Gerald Norton. Son, Steven Gilman (significant other, Kathy Pollman); grandchildren, Tyler Gilman (Brooke); Amy (Loulan) and Jay Washburn; great grandchildren Taylor, Madison and Riley; grandchildren, Jamie James and great grandchildren Devin Marshall and Sierra Jones. Sister, Irene (Gilman) and Zig Libiecki. Former daughter-in-law, Fran Gilman and former son-in-law, Hank Norton. Also surviving is his special golfing buddy, Dr. Richard Walker of Kalamazoo/South Carolina; numerous nieces and nephews: Kathy (Gilman) and Mike Johnson; Nancy (Gilman) Chandler; Phyllis Gilman; Tom (Rebecca) Gilman; Dorothy Jones; Mike Jones; Susan Row; Sharon (Van Dam) and Brad Nord; Linda (Van Dam) and Brian De Does; Karen (Van Dam) Pittman; Sally (Stillwell) Betz Corradin; Dr. Peter Newhouse, Ann Newhouse and Joan Newhouse.

Preceding him in death are his first wife, Thelma (Newhouse) Gilman and second wife, Ann (Vinton-Shaw) Gilman.

Gerald was an avid athlete and golfer and to his credit, he could boast (But Never Did) that he accomplished 3 hole-in-ones. One at Kalamazoo Country Club and two at his beloved home course in Rio Verde, Arizona. He was a member of the BPOE Elks Country Club in Kalamazoo; Kalamazoo Country Club; and the Rio Verde Country Club in Rio Verde Arizona. Gerald was still playing golf into his mid-90’s.

He stayed active in the community well into his 90’s by delivering Meals on Wheels in Kalamazoo and volunteering at the Sunshine Acres orphanage near his home in Arizona.

Gerald was chosen for the Talons Out Honor Flight – Michigan in Fall-2014 which recognizes Michigan veterans for their sacrifice and achievements by flying them to Washington DC to see THIER monuments. Gerald was escorted by his son, Steven.

Gerald was a loving and caring person and never met anyone he didn’t either greet with a smile and his signature “firm handshake” or engage them in a friendly conversation. He was a mentor to his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and his legacy will live through them.

Dad, Grandpa and Great Grandpa taught us:

To persevere; to enjoy life and those around you; to have goals and reach for the stars; a “depression-era” work ethic; to love your family above all; to be proud of what you have accomplished and share that knowledge with others, so that they may also prosper; to be proud of our American heritage and always salute when appropriate; to fly the American flag 365 days – not just on July 4th; to thank our loving God for all that we have; to give to those less fortunate and to not worry about things that you have no control over.

Cremation has taken place and burial will take place at Fort Custer at a later date. There will be no visitation or public service. A gathering of family and friends to celebrate his life will be held at a later date. The family particularly wishes to thank the staff at Rose Arbor Hospice of Kalamazoo, Michigan and Saint Joseph Hospital of Mishawaka, Indiana.