The Gillmore family offers our loving memories of James Donovan Gillmore, who passed on October 23rd from natural causes. Jim was a joyful and loving man who brought discipline and guidance to his family and friends, encouraging them in the uplifting ways of the Lord. Born November 26, 1932 in Rugby, North Dakota. Jim was 87 years old.
Jim’s mother, Nora Grunsvold, spoke fluent Norwegian, and his father, Cal Gillmore, spoke Swedish, being second-generation immigrants. The population of Rugby in 1932 was closer to a few hundred than it was to a few thousand at the nadir of the Great Depression. Jim’s mother and father were members of the Barton Lutheran Church, which influenced Jim’s view of the world, as did the calm, rolling plains of wheat surrounding him for hundreds of miles.
In 1945 Jim’s family settled in Missoula Montana, where his parents operated the Gillmore Motel, while Jim and his brothers Duane and Ron attended the Missoula County High School and Montana State University. Living close to the land, Jim preferred forest campsites over creature comforts while hiking, fishing, and hunting.
One day, in the early 1950s, during a break from his air-traffic control duties at the Naval Air Station in Alameda, California, Jim wandered upon a bright and lovely young woman classmate named Paula McCrite, who enjoyed the mid-afternoon sun while sitting on the library steps. They introduced themselves and spoke warmly to each other, as she looked up from the Bible she was reading. After many joyful months of dating, the couple chose January 19th, 1955 as their wedding date and remained together until Paula’s passing on January 20, 2010.
Paula tamed the wildness of Jim’s youth, quickly igniting his interest in the arts and culture where they shared their love for each other attending the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Repertory Theatre, and the occasional visit to Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle.
On April 11, 1957, the couple introduced their daughter Karen to their loving world, followed by their son Tom born October 16, 1958.
Jim’s leaves his children Tom Gillmore, Karen Gillmore Beal, son in law Kevin D Beal, grandsons Lucas T Beal and Landon R Beal, his wife Erin Beal and great grandchildren Sloane and Bennett to mourn his passing.
Preferring the economical Volkswagen Beetle for his commute, Jim worked as air- traffic controller at Sea-Tac Airport until his retirement. Jim enjoyed his fellowship with coworkers who frequently gathered for hunting, skiing and fishing trips.
In their retirement, Jim and Paula enjoyed traveling full time in their RV, visiting friends and family in Missoula, Montana and Neosho, Missouri.
Your thoughts and prayers are welcome as Jim passes to the comfort of our Lord.