His Early Years…
As a young child, Orbia was educated at Bowman Rosenwald School and later enrolled at the St. George School to study Automotive Mechanic and Electricity, going on to become a state licensed electrician. He was hired at Savannah River Site, a Department of Energy entity, that produced nuclear defense materials. There, he worked for 35 years until his retirement in 1986.
A Man of Honor…
Orbia I. Gilmore, Jr. was sworn into the US Army on April 26, 1944. During his tour, he built bridges for artillery and tanks to cross over dangerous terrain in France and Germany as well as watched over German Prisoners of War. He was the recipient of many awards and medals, the most notable being the two Bronze Stars with Valor, a decoration awarded for either heroic or meritorious service or achievement in combat zone. It is the third highest honor bestowed upon US service members.
Orbia’s heroism didn’t end on foreign soil. He brought that same gallantry back to his own community in 1970 where he co-founded the local Family Health Center which serviced Orangeburg, SC and surrounding areas.
A Man of Faith…
During the early 50s, Deacon Gilmore was a member of Bowman Temple Church of God in Christ and served as a Deacon and Trustee Board Member.
In 1960, Orbia joined New Mt. Zion Baptist Church in his hometown of Bowman, SC. There he served faithfully as a Deacon under the leadership of Reverend Simpson and Reverend Keisha Shuler-Johnson.
In 1946, Orbia married Ada Bell Gilmore. Together they had seven children and celebrated 63 years of marriage before her transition from life in 2009.
Orbia is survived by his children Willie Harold (Mary) Gilmore, Evelyn (Joe) Brown-Garvin, Alfred “Landy” (Georgia) Gilmore, Elaine Maxine (Michael) Watkins, Dwayne Lytle, and Jerry (Kala) Booket; his sister: Ethel Hall; daughter-in-law: Hennie Gilmore; sister-in-law: Margie Gilmore and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other family and friends.
Orbia was preceded in death by sons: John and Stanley Gilmore; siblings: Samuel (Mary) Gilmore, William Gilmore, Freda (Fred) Robinson, Ann (Jimmy) Fowler, Ruth (Floyd) Patrick, Berniece (Henry) Witherspoon, and Zuola “Zoo” (Tom) Summers.
The service will proceed as follows:
The viewing will be held on Thursday, December 10,2020 at Glover's Funeral Home at 12:00pm until 7:00pm.
The funeral will be held on Friday, December 11,2020 at Glover's Funeral Home beginning at 1:00pm. Services will be streamed live on our Facebook page Glover's Funeral Home of Orangeburg. All those attending must wear a mask and adhere to all COVID-19 rules and regulations.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Orbia I. (Buster) Gilmore,Sr., please visit our floral store.