Age 73, passed away Monday, August 12, 2019 of complications from Lewy Body Dementia. Don was born on November 29, 1945 in Battle Creek, the second oldest of four sons born to the late Howard & Genevieve (Raymer) Gilmer. He grew up on the family farm: Hillcrest Orchards in Augusta. He graduated from Kellogg Consolidated High School in 1963 and attended Michigan State University. He worked on the family farm for several years. He served one term on the Kalamazoo County Commission, and was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 1976 where he would serve with distinction for the next twenty-two years. After he was term limited out, he served as the State Lottery Commissioner and the State Budget Director. He ended his career as the Kalamazoo County Administrator, retiring in 2008.
He married the true love of his life, Lynn Weimeister, on November 19, 1988, and she survives. Also surviving are his three children: Laura and Carl Norman of Columbus, Ohio, Steven and Lori Gilmer of Portage, and Jason and Amy Gilmer of Augusta; three grandchildren: Drew, Ashlee, and Luke; his two brothers: Jim and Sandy Gilmer of Denver, Colorado and Tom and Diana Gilmer of Otsego; two step-sisters Susan Cornett of Grand Rapids and Diane and Danny Venditti of Canada, his brother-in-law John and Pom Weimeister of Portage, and his sister-in-law Cindy Gilmer of Augusta. He also has several nieces and nephews, including a special niece Terra Gilmer Cook who has lovingly helped Lynn care for Don through this final illness. He was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws, Jack and Mary Lou Weimeister, and his brother, Chuck last year.
Don lived a life of service: to his family, to his community, and to the State of Michigan and its residents. He was known for his integrity, his kindness, and his commitment to the positive values he exemplified. He worked hard to bring together people of differing views to solve the challenges faced during his time of service. He was much loved and will be deeply missed.
Don was cremated and his cremated remains will be placed in the family columbarium in the Augusta Cemetery at a later date. There will be a visitation to meet with the family on Wednesday, August 28th from 4 until 8 p.m. at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, 3926 S 9th St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009. Don's memorial service will be held Thursday, August 29th at 3:30 at the Dalton Center Recital Hall on WMU's campus in Kalamazoo. There will be a reception following the service in the lobby of Miller Auditorium. Parking will be available in the parking deck of Miller Auditorium. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Don's memory to the Donald Gilmer Endowed Scholarship at WMU or Planned Parenthood of Michigan. Envelopes will be available at the visitation and the memorial service. To view Don's personalized web page, please visit https://www.langelands.com.
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