Thomas C. Gillmer

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Thomas C. Gillmer

Thomas C. Gillmer,98, renowned Naval Architect and a 70-year resident of Annapolis, died Dec. 16, 2009.

He was born in Warren, Ohio on July 17, 1911, and attended the United States Naval Academy, graduating with the class of 1935.

He served on the USS Raleigh and USS Savannah. He resigned his commission in 1946 to become a faculty member at the USNA in the Marine Engineering Dept. He ended his career as a full professor, retiring in 1967. He then pursued a private practice in Naval Architecture, and was well-known for his custom and production designs of private sailing vessels, among them the "Blue Moon," the "Southern Cross" series, the "Privateer," and the "Seawind" ketch, the first fiberglass boat to circumnavigate the world. He was also a noted Naval historian and designer of replica ships, including the Pride of Baltimore I and II, the pungy schooner "Lady Maryland," and the "Kalmar Nyckel." Professor Gillmer was chosen by the Dept. of the Navy to conduct a structural study of the USS Constitution to restore her to her former glory. He is the author of numerous books and his textbook is still in use at the USNA. He is predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Anna D. Gillmer who died in 1999.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth N. Gillmer and her two sons, Albert Williams of Cary, N.C. and Alvin Williams of Ft. Myers, Fla.; his daughter and son-in-law, Christina and Richard Erdmann of Denver, Colo.; his son and daughter-in-law Charles and Maureen Gillmer of Reedville, Va.; four grandchildren, two step-grandsons, five great grandchildren, and extended family.

A memorial service will be held at St. Andrews Chapel at the United States Naval Academy on Friday, Jan. 15th at 10:30 AM, followed immediately by committal at the Columbarium. Please use Gate 8.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Chesapeake, 445 Defense Hwy., Annapolis, MD 21401 or Pride of Baltimore, Inc., 1801 S. Clinton St., Baltimore, MD 21224.


Published in The Capital on Dec. 18, 2009
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