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Home Obituaries Richard Elias "Dick" Gilman
Richard Elias "Dick" Gilman

Ventura, CA

May 28, 1921 - February 24, 2018

Richard E. Gilman passed away peacefully at his home in Ventura, California on February 24, 2018 surrounded by his family.

Dick was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Ethel and Henry Gilman. The family moved to Los Angeles, where Dick graduated from Fairfax High School in 1938. At the outbreak of World War II, he went to work for Lockheed as an inspector of B-24 aircraft. It was there at Lockheed that he met his future wife, Dorothy. They were married September 17th, 1943 and last year they celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary.

Considered too valuable to leave Lockheed, Dick intentionally got himself fired in order to join the Army Air Corp, where he spent World War II as a cryptographer in Europe. Upon returning home, he began his undergraduate studies at St. Mary's University in Winona, MN. He earned his Bachelor of Science in 1949 and would later obtain his Master's in Biology from the same university. After graduating, he pursued additional studies at the University of Iowa while working as a graduate teaching assistant.

After a period working at his uncle's furniture business in Chillicothe, Ohio where he and Dorothy built their own house, Dick and his family returned to California. Back in Los Angeles, he received his teaching credentials from UCLA and his first teaching job at Burbank High School, where he taught chemistry and biology for 16 years. While teaching he also completed his Master's Degree in Education from USC. Eventually, Dick was hired to teach at Ventura College, and after one year he was recruited to become one of the founding members of the then-new Moorpark College science staff, where he helped set up the Science Department. He would continue to teach at Moorpark College for 15 years.

While still teaching, Dick began the pursuit of one of his dreams; building an avocado orchard. Beginning with a chaparral hillside property in Carpinteria, Dick transformed the area through innovative irrigation systems and his dedication to each detail of the ranch. The original root stock for the orchard was developed in a greenhouse in Dick's own backyard. He successfully farmed the ranch for 25 years until he retired.

Dick spent his retirement volunteering, enjoying time with his wife and family.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; son, Rick (Barbara); daughters Gail (Michael), Claudia (Fred), and Tracy; 6 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Lois Sidney. He was preceded in death by his brother, Robert Gilman.

Any donation you wish you to make in Dick's memory should be made to St. Mary's University in Winona, MN or to the organization.

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