GILMORE, Rev. Dr. James M., III
The Reverend Doctor James Madison Gilmore, III, 81, of Simsbury, Connecticut, ended his Earthly walk in the evening of Wednesday, March 6, 2013. He was known affectionately by his parishioners as Fr. Jim and K.O.F.G. (Kindly Old Father Gilmore). A fifth generation Floridian, he was raised in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida (Go Gators), where he majored in History and Binky - his beloved wife of 56 years, who ended her walk in July of 2010. Fr. Jim answered a calling to the priesthood and received his Masters of Divinity from The University of the South (Sewanee). Early on in his ministry, Fr. Jim founded a church - St. Ann's, Crystal River, Florida. Together with Binky, they raised three children, Stephen Madison Gilmore (1960-1994), Sarah Raines Gilmore (of Hollywood, FL) and Paul Nicholas Gilmore (of Simsbury), in the Morningside neighborhood of Miami. Fr. Jim was the rector of Holy Cross Episcopal Church from 1965 to1983, and of All Soul's Episcopal Church (Miami Beach) from 1983 -1991. During the time of his parish ministries in Miami, he obtained a Masters Degree in Psychology from Nova University and moonlighted as the head of Family Therapy at Concept House - an addiction rehabilitation center sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida. Fr. Jim never lost his thirst for knowledge, and in the later years of his full-time ministry he obtained a Doctorate in Ministry from The Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He was very active in the Cursillo Movement - an interdenominational weekend retreat program that helped bring adults from all walks of life to Christ. Fr. Jim never backed down from a challenge and always fought hard to provide for those in need. He founded an extensive day care program for the children of Caribbean immigrants, so that their parents would have the opportunity to educate themselves and stake their family's claim to the American Dream. He established the first programmatic ministries for gay and lesbian Christians in the City of Miami, and openly welcomed them into the life of the Church. When it came to bringing the love of God to all people, Fr. Jim believed that if what you were doing did not cause some measure of controversy, then you were not fully engaged in the work to which God has called you. In their later years, Fr. Jim and Binky moved to Simsbury, and lived next door to their son Paul and his family (wife, Carolyn Clement, and children, Emma Raines Gilmore, Olivia Madison Gilmore, and Luke Dean Gilmore). Cherished daughter, Sarah, and her faithful husband, Ben Nemer, were regular visitors at the "Gilmore Compound" on Bradley Road. Dance recitals, musicals, choral concerts, soccer games and Karate tournaments set the course of his days. Fr. Jim loved Simsbury and its people, especially his neighbors on Bradley Road and the parishioners of Trinity Church, Tariffville. At Trinity, Fr. Jim was an Honorary Associate and remained in active ministry until his death (preaching the Good News until the very end). The Trinity parish community welcomed the Old Southerner with open arms, and they all became most dear to him. The family is especially thankful for Trinity's rector, Fr. Tom Furrer, who warmly welcomed Fr. Jim into the ordained ministry of the parish, and enabled him to have a meaningful parish ministry until his dying day.
Fr. Jim's favorite charity is The Sisters of St. Margaret, 50 Hardin Hill Rd., PO Box C, Duxbury, MA 02331-0605. Their work in Haiti for the relief of the poor is truly inspiring. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to this most worthy cause. Calling hours will be Friday, March 8, from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. at Hayes-Huling & Carmon Funeral Home, 364 Salmon Brook St., Granby, Connecticut. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Celebrated at Trinity Church, 11 Church Street, Tariffville, on Saturday, March 9 at 10 a.m. The family will miss him dearly, and takes heart in knowing that the Lord Almighty has the final say in all things, and that even in death there is hope. For online condolences please visit, www.carmonfuneralhome.com.