Joseph Michael Gilmer(1941 - 2012)

Joseph Michael Gilmer July 11, 1941 - November 25, 201 Joseph Michael Gilmer, farmer, truck driver, teacher -- affectionately known as "Mike" to friends and family -- died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Shafter, California on November 25. He was 71.Born in Visalia to Joseph W. ("Nick") Gilmer and his wife Betty (Kuhn), Mike was raised in Wasco, where he attended local schools. He played varsity football and baseball in high school and loved cars, girls, and having a good time. Upon graduating from Wasco High in 1959, he attended Bakersfield College and earned a degree in business from Fresno State. He married Barbara White, also of Wasco, while a college student. Mike was employed as a farm manager, at one time being responsible for 3,000 acres of almond trees. He briefly left farming for truck driving, then returned to farm kiwis after buying his own acreage. In his later life he surprised friends and family by becoming a substitute teacher at local schools. His students knew him as "Mr. G."Mike was a member of Wasco-Shafter Elks Lodge #2419, where he often met with lifelong friends. He was married three times, the last time to Barbara Jobe ("Jobie"), who predeceased him. He is survived by his two children from his first marriage -- Stephanie (Klugow) and Nick; grandchildren Brandon, Lexi, and Nicholas; Christopher, Anna, Gracie, and Luke; great grandchildren Jadyn and Caleb; his younger brother Tim; and Hildy, his dog.A celebration of Mike's life will be held Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. at the Wasco-Shafter Elks Lodge, 16694 Wasco Ave.

Published in Bakersfield Californian on Dec. 4, 2012