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Harley M Gillman passed away peacefully from Parkinson’s Disease at his home on Monday, December 21, 2020 at the age of 93, surrounded by his loving family.
Harley was born on March 16, 1927 in his family home located on 1600 North in Orem, Utah to Hazel E Fryer and Charles Raymond Gillman. He was blessed with an older brother Cleo Raymond, two older sisters Ellen Bernice and Phyllis Ann, a younger brother LaDell, and an older brother Wayne James who died only one year after birth. They were raised on a five-acre farm given to his father by his grandfather, which is the same five-acre farm that Harley lived on for 93 years.
He often recalled happy years of growing up on that farm, which grew mostly raspberries and strawberries. He made friends with the “berry pickers” that would come and stay in their “Berry Room” while they harvested the fruit during berry season. He loved to help his mother and father at the family grocery store that was located at State Street and 1600 North, known as “Gillman Grocery”. He remembers nailing berry boxes together for one penny per box, and pumping gas until all the glass containers were full.
In high school, he loved playing basketball, and would stay after school every day to play. He would often miss his bus and have to hitchhike all the way home. He remembers all of the trouble that he and his best friend Garth Walker would get in to, especially the time when Garth accidentally kicked him in the face during football practice and broke his nose. Harley worked hard in high school, partly on his education, but more so on making a living. He was the hardest worker in any job he could find: harvesting crops, loading peaches, cleaning the canal, hauling hay and tomatoes, and his paper route delivery for the Deseret News. His most significant memory from high school was feeling like the luckiest guy in the world when he landed a date to the school dance with the most popular girl in school, Mary Jane Green. Harley graduated from Pleasant Grove High School and joined the U.S. Maritime Service during WWII. Soon after the war ended in 1945, he took a 3-week leave to fly home and marry his high school sweetheart Mary Jane on Christmas Eve in Mary’s childhood home. They were later sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple on October 6th, 1952.
After his father died in 1947, Harley took over the family farm. He would continue to work and live on this farm for the rest of his life. Around this same time, he had also started what would become a 38-year career with Geneva Steel. Harley was a very accomplished man and would go on to receive several distinguished awards within the community: Junior Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award, Arthur V. Watkins Outstanding Citizen Award, Utah Water Users Association Lifetime of Dedicated Service Award, and the Walter C. Orem Service Award. He was elected to the Orem City Council and served on the council for 24 years, and to the Utah State House of Representatives for one term. Harley also served on numerous water boards and was appointed to the Central Utah Water Conservancy Project Board by Governor Bangerter in 1989. He served as a board member for Orem’s Chamber of Commerce and the SCERA. Harley was often called upon to speak at community events and was known as a very gifted speaker.
Harley and Mary are the parents of five children: Alan H Gillman (Flora), DeAnne Jacobson (Cregg), Quinn A Gillman (Kris), Shauna Woods (Bruce), and Angie Hunsaker (Jeff). They are blessed with nineteen grandchildren and forty-one great-grandchildren. Despite all of his incredible work within the community, and his numerous achievements and awards, Harley’s posterity would say that his greatest accomplishment was his ability to make everyone he knew feel loved and important. He was the perfect example of Christlike love and devotion, and served selflessly in every church calling he had. He served as a bishop for five years, and especially enjoyed the nine years he served as counselor in the Stake Presidency to President Steven Baugh, a man he greatly admired. He was well loved by those he served, and they often recall the memorable stories that he shared from the pulpit. Until his last days, he made sure to tell everyone in his family that he loved them “more than tongue can tell” and to “Party On!”
Party on, Harley! We love you.
Harley is survived by his brother LaDell and his sweetheart Mary Jane, and is preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, two brothers, and a daughter that passed at birth.
A private family viewing will be held Monday morning, December 28, 2020 at the Windsor Stake Center followed by a family graveside dedication in the Pleasant Grove City Cemetery. Family and friends may watch a live stream of the funeral at the link above. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com.
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