Roy Levon “Jiggs” Gilmore, age 85, passed away on Sunday, May 28, 2023 at Southeast Health in Dothan, AL.
Jiggs, graduated from Cottondale High in 1955, attended Chipola College, and then joined the US Air Force—spending time at Robins AFB and stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Jiggs married the love of his life, Jessie Ruth Kirkland, in 1959.
He had a full schedule working for Ralph McClure at Quality Tire, helping with cattle, and checking local gas charts. After a while of working three jobs with a young family, he decided to apply with UPS and became the second hired UPS driver in Florida. He excelled as a package truck driver and feeder truck driver for 11 years—accumulating over a million miles of safe driving (often informing his kids and grandkids he had backed more safe driving miles than most of us had driven).
Still having to miss some family and sporting events, he decided to branch out as an entrepreneur to have more flexibility with his schedule. Jiggs and Shorty Sowell opened Sur-Way Electric (later becoming Gilmore Electric & Plumbing) and P & J Sporting Goods in downtown Marianna with his brother Pete Gilmore. Eventually selling Gilmore Electric & Plumbing in 1994, Jiggs worked as a construction inspector for David H. Melvin and later Capital Engineering, prior to his full retirement just after his 80th birthday.
Jiggs loved Jackson County and was fully invested in his community—supporting local sports (as coach and much more), helping build the inaugural Habitat for Humanity home, and participating in the MHS QB Club and Trinity Sportsmen. He also regularly attended and promoted the Lake Forest Ranch Bible Study and Deer Hunt in Mississippi. Through all his endeavors, Jiggs consistently invested into the lives of others—particularly helping young men in starter jobs and shaping them for electrical and plumbing careers.
Jiggs loved his children and grandchildren and taught them how to work, hunt, fish, love, serve, and give generously. But above all, he loved his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He served faithfully in Trinity Baptist Church as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, and member of multiple committees for nearly 50 years. He was not intimidated by anyone, nor did he look down on anyone. He was always true to who he was and dealt with people fairly and honestly. He was incredibly intelligent, funny, witty, and wise, and his loss will be deeply felt in our community, marketplace, church, and especially among his family and many friends. Jiggs loved people well and was loved by his people greatly.
Jiggs was preceded in death by his wife, Jessie Ruth Gilmore; parents, Roy Lee and Estee Melvin Gilmore; brother, James Carl and wife, Mary Elizabeth Gilmore; daughter in law, Heather Gilmore; granddaughter, Madeline Gilmore; brothers in law, J.C. “Junior” and wife, Evelyn Kirkland Griffin and Charles Wendell “Shorty” Sowell and wife, Martha Lou.
He leaves behind his two sons, Darwin Gilmore and wife, Cheri, Jason Gilmore and wife, Carolyn; brother, Pete Gilmore and wife, Shirley all of Marianna, FL; grandchildren, Gray Gilmore and wife, Jessica of Birmingham, AL, Seth Gilmore also of Birmingham, AL; Emily Johnson and husband, Chandler, James Adam Gilmore all of Poplar Springs, FL, Kendall Smith and Neal Smith both of Marianna; along with a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Funeral services will be 11 A.M. Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at Trinity Baptist Church with Reverends Danny Mann and Roland Rabon officiating. Interment will follow in Pinecrest Memorial Gardens with military honors provided by the United States Air Force Honor Guard. Marianna Chapel Funeral Home will be directing.
The family will receive friends for a time of viewing and visitation from 9:30 A.M. until the time of service at Trinity Baptist Church.
Those serving as pallbearers will be Mickey Gilmore, “Jim Gilmore”(honorary), Zach Gilmore, Shane Gilmore, John Griffin, Kyle Griffin and Bruce Sowell.
Flowers will be omitted. Memorial contributions may be made to the Trinity Baptist Church “To All Generations” building fund at www.trinitymarianna.com
Condolences may be made online at www.mariannachapelfh.com