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Orville Gilmore, 1921-2016

Orville Otis Gilmore, 95, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016.

He was born Aug. 12, 1921, in San Benito, Texas, to Otis and Gertrude Gilmore. He grew up in Freeborn, graduated from high school in Freeborn and graduated from Albert Lea Junior College. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1946, and a master’s degree from the University of Colorado in 1949. Orville served in the Army Air Corps in England and France during World War II. He married Alice Burns of Albert Lea on Nov. 17, 1945. They were married 69 years, before Alice passed away in 2015.

Orville Gilmore

Orville Gilmore

A teacher of English and humanities, Mr. Gilmore touched and inspired thousands of high school and college students. He taught at Albert Lea High School, Lea College in Albert Lea, and Lakewood Community College (now Century College) in White Bear Lake.

Orville and his wife, Alice, retired to Gunflint Lake in northern Minnesota and eventually settled in Cottonwood, Arizona, in 1993.

Orville was an avid reader and loved bird watching, boating and being outdoors. He and his wife camped and traveled through 49 of the 50 states over the years. Both participated in the Cottonwood Public Library book discussion group for many years and he was a Yavapai County master gardener. He was a very talented wood worker, making many beautiful pieces.

Orville was preceded in death by a son, Donald; and his wife, Alice.

He is survived by daughters Catherine Karppinen (Mahlon) of Glyndon and Constance Gilmore (Michael) of Cottonwood, Arizona. He has six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Both Orville and Alice will be interred together at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Grand Marais next summer. Donations in his memory are preferred to the Cottonwood Bookmarks, c/o Cottonwood Public Library, 100 S. Sixth St., Cottonwood, AZ 86326 or the Education Foundation of Albert Lea, P.O. Box 828, Albert Lea, MN 56007.