GILMAN, Richard Bertram
May 2, 1922 – January 20, 2016
Richard Gilman of Qualicum Beach was born in Vancouver, BC and grew up in England. During the war years he served as a Spitfire pilot in the RAF. After obtaining an MA in Geography at Oxford, he went with his young family to teach in Uganda, then immigrated to Ontario.
After a 35-year career in education (teacher, principal and Superintendent) including overseas assignments in Northern China and Poland, he threw himself into a wide range of volunteer activities in his church, local community and social agencies and into reading and writing. Never one to sit back, at 80 years old Richard completed a tandem parachute jump from 10,000 ft because he ‘never successfully bailed out’ of his own aircraft in the war. This was followed by whitewater rafting on the Ottawa River and at 90 years the publication of his book ‘Angels Ten’ about his war-time experiences. He was an amazing man who loved life, work, travel, friendship and above all his family in Canada and England.
Richard was the grateful and affectionate husband of Kay (died 11/07) and Retha. Dad will be greatly missed by his children and their spouses, his 11 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren, Mary, his next door neighbor and companion of nearly 20 years, and many other family and friends across the continents.
He finally returned to BC in 2008 and was so delighted to be home again amongst the mountains, fir trees and ocean. He developed such close bonds with all his friends at Hawthorne Place who he referred to as ‘his other family’. We are so grateful for the love and care from everyone at Hawthorne Place and also the outstanding staff at the Qualicum Manor. You all held him in your hands with gentleness and respect. And special thanks to Dr. Rick Henderson who took such a personal interest in Richard, visiting him at home and at the Manor.
A memorial service for Richard will be held at 2 pm on January 30 at
St. Stephen’s United Church, Qualicum Beach.
In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Richard by making a donation to Oxfam Canada, the United Church of Canada or a reliable local, national or international refugee organization.