1922 – 2015
WEST PARIS — Kenneth “Ken” Gilman, formerly of West Peru, passed away at the Ledgeview Living Center in West Paris on Saturday, Aug. 22, after a period of deteriorating health.
Ken was born on Aug. 25, 1922, in Johnson, Vt., to Forrest Madison Gilman and Margaret Idella Gilman. On Aug. 24, 1946, Ken married Winifred (Winnie) Rudd in Waterbury, Vt.
In August 1942, Ken enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served his country during World War II. In 1943, he was a member of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Alabama. In 1944, he was transferred to the Marine Detachment on the newly commissioned USS Missouri. Aboard the USS Missouri, Ken took part in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He was also present at the formal Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945. Ken was discharged from the Marine Corps at the end of 1945, having attained the rank of sergeant.
In September 1950, Ken was ordered back into active service as a member of the 43rd Division, 172 Infantry Regiment, which became part of NATO forces in Germany during the Korean War. Upon his discharge, Ken held the rank of master sergeant.
In 1953, Ken, his wife, Minnie, and their two sons, Bob and Gary, moved to West Peru, where Ken was employed by the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. in Rumford.
In their younger years, Ken and Winnie enjoyed the winter months skiing with their sons and family friends at Sunday River. Summers were often spent camping at Worthley Pond in Peru or Abbott’s Anchorage on Bryant Pond, After Ken retired, he and Winnie would take seasonal RV trips to Florida with their dear friends, Bob and Christine Eastman and Sherwood and Maggie Newton. Eventually, Ken and Winnie found summer havens at York and Wells beaches, where they would spend the majority of their summers with close friends, Tom and Polly Murphy. Their greatest enjoyment during these years was hosting their family, especially their young grandchildren, Lindsay, David and William, for days at the beach or for holidays at their home in West Peru.
Ken’s greatest satisfaction in life was seeing his sons and their families meet with success in life. No matter the situation, he was always available to help in any way he could. He took particular pride in the accomplishments of his grandchildren, Lindsay, David and William.
Ken was a 60-year member of the Peru American Legion and a past master of King Hiram Lodge No. 57 in Dixfield. He also served on the West Peru School Board in the mid 1960s.
Ken was predeceased by his parents; brothers, Reginald, Albion, Quentin and Roger; grandson, Jonathan; and his beloved wife, Winnie, to whom he was married for 67 years. She passed away in 2013. They would have celebrated their 69th anniversary on Monday, Aug. 24.
The belief among Ken’s surviving family is that he felt it was now long past the time for him to join Winnie for their upcoming anniversary after missing her terribly for the past two years. In life, they were inseparable.
Ken is survived by his two sons and their wives, Bob and Judy of Westbrook and Gary and Patty of West Peru; three grandchildren, Lindsay Roskelley (Jake) of Falmouth, David Gilman (Christina) of Cumberland, and William Gilman of West Peru. In addition, Ken was blessed with three beautiful great-granddaughters, Adelaide, Margot and Finley. Also surviving is a brother, Wayne of Barre, Vt.; a sister-in-law, Lorraine, also of Barre; and several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Deluca of Rumford and the caring staff at Ledgeview Living Center in West Paris for their collective care and compassion.
Friends and relatives are invited to sign the online guest book and share memories with the family at www.meaderandson.com.