Untitled Document

John A. Gilman



John Avery Gilman (A2033) 78, passed away peacefully at his home in Hope Valley on August 5, 2014 surrounded by his loving family.

John was the son of the late Milton N. and Thelma (Roberts) Gilman of Hope Valley and was predeceased by a brother William W. Gilman, Sr. He is survived by his wife of 50 years Diane (Ainsworth) Gilman, and three children; Susan Gardner-Gilman, Jeffrey Gilman and his fiancée Christine Brewster, and Donna Gilman Hoyle and her husband Kevin Hoyle. He was a proud and loving grandfather to five grandchildren, Derek and Steven Gardner, Sean and Ryan Gilman, and Quinn Hoyle.

He graduated from the Kentucky Military Institute in Lyndon Kentucky and Venice Florida in 1954 where he attained the rank of Master Sergeant. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served in the 82nd Airborne Division and later transferred to the 11th Airborne Division in Germany. Subsequent to his honorable discharge in 1957 he joined Company D, 16th Special Forces Group (Airborne) RI Army National Guard.

John was an astute businessman and the founder and former CEO of Western Mass. Blasting Corp. He was elected to the RI House of Representatives in 1976 and served four terms serving his local constituents with honesty and integrity.

He held a private pilot’s license and was an accomplished guitarist having continued his musical talents after his honorable discharge to play in local bands. He was an avid sportsman and traveled to Maine, Florida, Mexico and Canada to hunt and fish. He shared his love for hunting and fishing with friends, family and his grandchildren. Teaching his grandchildren how to hunt and fish was a passion he enjoyed later in life.

John was buried with military honors at the RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery.