Longtime local resident Kenneth Van Gilmore Sr., 78, of Longview passed away July 5, 2011, at the Hospice Care Center.
He was born Aug. 2, 1932, in Madill, Okla., and moved to the local area more than 65 years ago, graduating from R.A. Long High School.
Ken served in the Navy and owned Gilmore Construction in Longview until retiring in 1995.
He was a supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. For 20 years he organized Grumpy’s Broomstick Pool Tourney to benefit the kids at St. Jude’s. Last year was the first tourney he missed. He helped raise well over $102,000 and always wished for more. Ronald McDonald House was also close to his heart. His grandson Dustin was hospitalized and the family was well cared for at Ronald McDonald House in Portland, so he’d say "save your pop tabs".
Ken was a member of Longview American Legion Post 155 and a supporter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha Sorority. He was avid about hunting and fishing and loved to teach the sport, first to his nephews Larry and Jerry Whiteside, then his boys Van and Ted Gilmore, and later his "little hunting scout and buddy" great-nephew Jake Whiteside. Now they are raising their children to love these sports. Ken fished locally but truly enjoyed the fishing in Hawaii, Mexico and especially Alaska. Thanks to Willie and Delores Kamp for the Alaska trips.
Ken is survived by his wife, Beverly (Johnston) Gilmore at home; two sons, K. Van Gilmore Jr., and his significant other, Kim Lenzen of Longview, and Ted Gilmore and his wife, Robin of Silver Lake; a daughter, Diane Tillotson in Oregon; his grandchildren, Lindsey Gilmore of Bonney Lake, Wash., Jeremy Gilmore and his significant other, Shay in Australia, and Dustin Gilmore and Cody Gilmore, both of Silver Lake.; his great-grandchildren, Hailey Carron and Hunter Gilmore, both of Bonney Lake, and Devon Gilmore in Australia; two brothers, James Gilmore in Alabama and Roy Gilmore of Dallas Port, Wash.; three sisters-in-law, Elizabeth Johnston of Fresno, Calif., Dixie Johnston of Kalama and Audrey Johnston of Longview; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, Theodore Gilmore; his mother, Beatrice (Whitfield) Bauguess; and a sister, Betty Vaughan.
A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Salvation Army, 1639 10th Ave., in Longview with Captain David Davis officiating. A viewing is planned from 2 to 5 p.m. today at Columbia Funeral Service.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 363 West Drake Road, Fort Collins, CO 80526 or the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1218, Longview, WA 98632.