William Forbes Gilmore
August 20, 2023
In Loving Memory
William Forbes Gilmore
Bill Gilmore passed away peacefully in Kamloops, BC early on August 20, 2023. At the age of 97 years, Dad was just eleven days shy of celebrating his 98th birthday.
Bill was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland on August 31, 1925, to David and Elizabeth (nee Forbes) Gilmore. In 1929, the family moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba where along with his older brother Sam, Bill spent his elementary and high school years.
Bill served in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a navigator from 1943 until shortly after the end of WWII in 1945. He continued his education at the University of Manitoba and then transferred to McGill University where he graduated as a mining engineer in 1950. It was in Montreal that Bill met Roberta, his future wife of 65 years.
Throughout his life, Dad often sought out and accepted the challenges provided by new opportunities in his chosen profession. These opportunities took him from Atikokan, Ontario with Steep Rock Iron Mines to Asbestos, Quebec and Baie Verte, Newfoundland with Johns Manville, and Stewart, BC with Granduc Mine. Dad’s last resident mining assignment was Chief Engineer at Lornex Mining Corp. (now Highland Valley Copper) near Logan Lake, BC where he also served as the first mayor of Logan Lake. In 1974, he joined Wright Engineers Ltd. (later Fluor Daniel Wright) as Manager of the Mining Division, responsible for directing major engineering projects in North America, Australia, Fiji, and the Philippines. He later became Vice President, Mining, responsible for the direction and coordination of the mining department. These duties included consulting field trips to the Udokan Copper Deposit in Chita District in Eastern Siberia as well as trips to China as a member of an early team of consultants invited to consult on mining activities there.
Dad also pursued an early and life-long passion for the arts focusing on painting and sketching. He completed many works now proudly hanging on family walls and participated in gallery shows that allowed him to share his passion for these art forms. Golfing and swimming with a community of friends in Tsawwassen were favourite retirement activities. Additionally, from an early age Dad was fascinated with aviation, an interest he passed on to son David. From his childhood model building days to his Airforce career and beyond, this interest continued. Dad built and flew remote controlled model aircraft well into his 80’s with the support of many friends at the Ladner RC flying club.
Dad was held in very high esteem by his colleagues, friends, and family for being a kind, thoughtful individual characterised by his integrity, humility, good humour, patience, and selflessness. His service to his community through volunteering with Hospice and Victim Services are testament to his commitment to others.
Our family will be forever grateful for the example Dad (Grandpa) set for us. His gentle wisdom, loving guidance and forward thinking made him an exceptional father and (Great) grandfather inspiring us to appreciate the importance of a loving and supportive family. He was never one to miss out on a good laugh, much like his mother, and we all hold fond memories of “losing it” in laughter with him.
Dad was predeceased by his wife Roberta in 2017 and his brother Sam in 2022. He is survived by his son David (Anita) and his daughter Lesly (Bruce); his seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren, and many friends and relatives.
Thank you to the staff at Kamloops Seniors Village and Berwick on the Park Retirement Residence for the friendship and exceptional care provided to Dad during his later years. We are deeply grateful to Dr. Peter Loland and the staff at Wheatgrass Medical Clinic as Dad’s primary health care team. A private celebration of life will be held in the coming weeks. Donations to The Nature Conservancy of Canada in Dad’s memory would be gratefully received.
Arrangements entrusted to
Cypress Funeral & Cremation Services 250-554-2324
Condolences may be expressed to the family by phone or email through Cypress Funeral & Cremation Services: