James (Jim) Stevens Gilmore was born on July 10, 1921 in Oklahoma City, Okla., to Ethlyn and Lansing James Gilmore. He passed away Aug. 20, 2013 in Los Alamos, after several months of failing health. He was preceded in death by his wife Eleanor Hughes Gilmore. He is survived by his sons James Reid Gilmore of Upton, Mass., and Alan Hughes Gilmore of Albuquerque.
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Jim graduated from Union College in 1943. Jim was an early resident of Los Alamos, where he lived for 67 years, working at LANL's TA-48 site until he retired in 1986. While working at LANL, he analyzed products from U.S. government nuclear weapons tests at the Enewetak Atoll and Nevada and helped analyzed fallout from Russian, French and Chinese nuclear weapons tests. During the last several years of his research at LANL, he analyzed the sediment at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. He developed novel assays for the element iridium contributing to the research that provided evidence for the asteroid impact in the Gulf of Mexico that caused the extinction of more than three quarters of all species on Earth including the dinosaurs.
Jim was deeply committed to scouting, serving as the Cubmaster for Pack 22 and Scoutmaster for Troop 193. One of Jim's passions was gardening. He maintained a yard of fruit trees and a vegetable garden until he was in his late 80s. Jim was also an orchid enthusiast. He had an extensive greenhouse and was the founder - and served as - president of the Escalante Orchid Society, that included members from Los Alamos, Española and Santa Fe. He shared his love of orchids by providing corsages for Los Alamos High School students for prom.
Jim will be deeply missed by his family and friends who were in inspired by his giving and faithful personality.
Per his request, there will be no funeral or memorial services.
Published in Los Alamos Monitor from Aug. 30 to Aug. 31, 2013