Harold, the fifth of seven sons of Thomas W. and Ardelle (Orchard) Gilmore, was born March 28, 1914 in the family home 5 miles south of Overbrook in the Valley Brook community. After Harold graduated from Overbrook Rural High School in 1934, he began an 86 year period of living and working in all parts of the United States before returning “home” to Overbrook in August 2020. He died November 16, 2020 at Brookside Manor at the amazing age of 106 years.
Because Ardelle died in 1924 the boys were raised by a father and uncle, and became a close knit family who sometimes worked together and lived together, and in later years held numerous family reunions.
In 1934 he moved to Kentucky where he lived with brother Montague, worked for All States Life Insurance Co., met and married Margaret Banker on July 6, 1940. They adopted a son, Thomas Martin Gilmore, June 15, 1947 – December 15, 2017. During WWII he became a truck farmer, raising and selling tomatoes, green peppers, corn, cabbage, and green beans. More moves included Columbus, OH with brother Montague, and Denver, CO near brothers Willis and George where he started a long, successful career with Prudential Insurance. Onward to Boise, ID and San Francisco where he retired in 1975. They built a lovely home on Cherokee Lake near Bear Station, TN, again near brother Montague and Sara. George was living with Harold and Margaret, and soon the three brothers and spouses began wintering in Florida. After Margaret died February 14, 1985, Harold sold the Tennessee home, and moved permanently to Port St. Lucie, FL where he met real estate agent, Sue Quinn, whom he married June 21, 1991. The realty company not only sold properties, but also managed rental properties. Harold pitched right in to maintain the properties, be productive, and was always comfortable in his relaxing attire of Bermuda shorts and loafers. Sue died suddenly on Thanksgiving Day, 2004 at age 56.
Youngest brother Solon was responsible for encouraging frequent family reunions back in Overbrook, starting in 1993. This led to gathering pictures and biographical information about the families and more reunions in 1998, 2004, and 2007. In 2014 it was time to CELEBRATE Harold’s 100th birthday with a gathering in Lawrence, and a magnificent party in the Overbrook Library Community Room which included family members from Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, Arkansas, Colorado, and Kansas. Overbrook Mayor Don Shultz presented a proclamation to Harold that named March 28 as “Harold Gilmore Day in Overbrook”.
Harold was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas W. Gilmore (1943) and Ardelle Orchard Gilmore (1924); son, Thomas Martin Gilmore (2017); brothers, Forest (1922), Willis (1959), Montague (1988), Britte (2001), Solon (2009); nephew, Bill Gilmore (2020); first wife, Margaret (1985) an second wife, Sue (2004).
Harold is survived by 104 year old brother George Gilmore, Columbia, SC; daughter-in-law, Becky Gilmore, Bend, OR; two nieces, Pam Gibson, Betty Lou Davis; three nephews, Jack Gilmore, Bill Gilmore, and Phil Gilmore; numerous other relatives who loved “Uncle Harold”; and good friend of sixteen years, Goldie Bergandi.
Graveside services and inurnment will be planned for Valley Brook Cemetery at a later date. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.lamb-roberts.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Harold Gilmore, please visit our floral store.