Rolland H. “Swede” Gilmore was born Nov. 23, 1932 at home to Harry F. and Leila V. (West) Gilmore. He grew up on the farm in Lincoln Township and attended grade school at a country school two miles from home. He continued his education at Washington Township Consolidated School, graduating in 1950. While growing up Swede enjoyed playing basketball and baseball.
He received his draft notice in 1950 and spent most of his basic training at Camp Roberts in California. From there, he was sent to Germany for the remainder of his service days. He was very fluent in Morse code, received his Classified Clearance, and was also an Expert Marksman. After his discharge in 1951, he returned to Iowa to continue to farm. He also worked at Swift Feed in Des Moines. He was united in marriage in 1951 to Delores Joan Booth, also a 1950 graduate of Washington Township Consolidated School. To this union six children were born.
In 1959, he suffered a major setback, as he contracted Polio which left him handicapped the rest of his life. Despite all this, he worked hard to provide a living for his family and build a future for them.
He had a love for U-Control airplanes which he built and flew while in service, and later built and flew radio controlled planes. He had a love and vast knowledge of anything to do with the military and World War II. He had great knowledge of guns and spent much of his free time shooting. He was still reloading shells until he was nearly 85 years of age, but still took time to teach others how to do it. He also was very fond of his Siberian Huskies, Bandit, King and Prince.
Swede was an avid fan of NASCAR and was a huge fan of Dale Earnhardt until his untimely death. In later years, he enjoyed watching Kyle Busch. But on top of it all, he was a farmer and a damn good one, which was always the most important thing to him, other than his family.
Left to treasure his memory is his wife Joan; daughter Gail of Indiana; sons Alan and Wayne of Iowa; brother Francis (Mert) Gilmore of Perry, Iowa; Grandsons Matt (Summer) Gilmore of Perry, Iowa and Anthony McCain of Grand Junction, Iowa Granddaughter Amanda Gilmore of Perry, Iowa; several nieces and nephews; several good friends and his very special friends Mike and Dawn Carey of Panora, Iowa. Rolland was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Lester and Ivan, sisters Ila and Eleanor, son Gary and daughters Cherie and Cheryl.
Funeral services were held on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 with Pastor Max Phillips officiating. Organist was Elta Summerson. Burial was in Pleasant Hill (Prairie Center) Cemetery with Military Rites. Pallbearers were Trent Andrews, Dave Andrews, Derry Pitsenbarger, Randy Schuhardt, Denny Heiland and Dave Benner. Honorary pallbearers were Matt Gilmore, Amanda Gilmore, Jamie McCain, Scott Grubbs, Ivan Wikner, Jim Brock, Bob Manning, Bill Geneser and Keith Riley. Rolland passed away Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 at the Perry Lutheran Home.
Memorials and condolences, for the family, may be left or mailed to Murdock Funeral Home.