Robert “Bob” Earl Gilmore, 87, of Mountain Grove, Missouri, passed away peacefully into the arms of his loving Savior Jesus Christ on April 17, 2013. Bob faithfully served his Lord since the time of his salvation at age 13.
Bob was born on August 18, 1925 to Robert and Ethel Gilmore in Springfield, Missouri. He grew up in Springfield.
After graduating from high school, Bob enlisted in the Army Air Force and he was inducted into service in 1943. After basic training he went into cadet training. When that program ended he attended airplane mechanic school for B-17s and B-24s. Later, Bob became crew chief on a B-13. He had outstanding vision, better than 20/20, which made him invaluable in spotting enemy aircraft when other could not see them. Bob was honorably discharged from the service at the conclusion of World War II.
In 1946, Bob was ordained a Southern Baptist minister and began a lifework of preaching and spreading the Gospel message for 63 years. Bob received his associate of arts degree from Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar, Missouri. In 1950, Bob received his bachelor of arts degree from Drury College in Springfield and his master’s degree in education from Drury in 1958. During these years, Bob attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. His faith was very important to him and everywhere he went Bob shared the Gospel message.
Bob served as high school principal and superintendent of schools for 27 years. He loved everyone and especially the children the Lord gave him charge of. He took his position and potential for influence very seriously. Bob loved children and they loved him back. Bob grew up in a time of depression so he knew how important kindness and generosity was. This could be witnessed in his interaction with all the children and specifically the ones who were less fortunate. If any child lacked lunch money, Bob would provide it. This was a norm for him, a kind and generous spirit coming from a heart desiring to serve God.
On May 2, 1977, Bob and Judy were united in marriage. She was the love of his life and he was the love of her life. Together they served in the capacity of pastor and wife in numerous churches. This couple was a blessing and made many friends in every church they served in. There were three children that were brought into this marriage: Howard, Teresa and Brenda; they were Bob’s stepchildren but he made them feel like his own.
The Lord God blessed Brother Bob with great understanding of the Bible and intelligence in matters of the world. He could answer almost every question posed to him about the Bible. Bob Gilmore wrote a book on Revelation that has circulated in Missouri, Illinois, Florida and California. Bob loved to write, especially poetry. It is noteworthy that his great-great-great-grandfather was Charles Dickens.
Bob was a great encourager; he loved to help new preachers getting started. He would give them books on the Bible, new ones from his own personal library. Bob loved the Lord and it showed in his life. It is said Bob was willing to go the extra mile to do the Lord’s work no matter what the cost. He believed his calling was from God and he was to build up churches and Christians.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Ethel Gilmore, and a brother, Richard, all of Springfield.
He is survived by his loving wife of the home, Judy; his daughters, Teresa Fletcher and Michael of Manes, Missouri, and Brenda Paschall and Jim of West Plains, Missouri; his son, Howard Bruffet and special friend Rhonda of Springfield, Missouri; a number of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, other relatives and a host of beloved friends.
Services were held on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at Maness Memorial Baptist Church in Cabool, Missouri, where Bob was a member, with Pastor Terry Brown officiating. Pallbearers were Jim Paschall, Michael Fletcher, Glen McKean and Randy Coddington. Michael Murr served as an alternate. Music ministry was “Amazing Grace” and “If That Isn’t Love.” Interment with full military honors was in Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Springfield, under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool. Online condolences may be made at www.egcfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers the Gilmore family recommends you send a love gift to Maness Memorial Building Fund, P.O. Box 651, Cabool, MO 65689.