GILMORETheola Mae Gilmore, formerly of Florence, died July 2, 2017, at home with family in Eugene.

Born March 22, 1928, at home on a farm outside Bellwood, Neb., she was the oldest of five children born to Theodore and Lurena Mae Eschliman.

She was followed by Lurena Eschliman Workman, infant Teddy Eschliman, Larre Eschliman and Lonnie Eschliman.

In late 1946, Theola met, then married the man that would share her life for the next 70 years, William J. (Bill) Gilmore. Their life together brought them three children: Michael T. (and Reva) Gilmore, Marijo (and Elden) Nordahl, Susan (and Tom) Owings; along with grandchil- dren: Amy and James Thompson, Daniel and Adela Carnaghi, Brian and Rachel Nordahl, Damon and Dana Nordahl, Erin and Tony Mason, Caley and James Joy, Jessica and Mike Harms, Shelly Circle, and Michele Nordahl; as well as 28 great-grandchildren and counting.

Their life together took them westward from Nebraska to Idaho, Oregon and Washington, then back to their home in Medford, Ore., in 1964 — where they stayed for more than 40 years raising their children and greeting new grandchildren.

They found employment as teachers at McLoughlin Junior High; Bill as the eighth-grade boys PE teacher while Theola found her perfect job as the Developmental Reading teacher.

After their retirement from McLoughlin, Theola and Bill were able to travel the world and become active in their Sacred Heart Community until health problems made it necessary to move closer to family in Florence and Eugene.

Theola loved Bill, her family and her church. She also loved holding her newborns and hugging her big children — grands and greats — and singing to them with her beautiful voice. She also loved reading.

As members of her family, we have been blessed by our time with her on this earth and are thankful she is with Bill and the other members of her family that have preceded her.

In lieu of flowers, Theola’s family would like her memory honored by spreading the love of reading to children in need in Medford.

Donations can be made to the Theola Gilmore Memorial Book Drive at GoFundMe.Com

Her Funeral Mass will be held Friday, July 14, at 8:30 a.m., at Sacred Heart Church in Medford, with interment at Hillcrest Memorial Park next to her beloved Bill.

Burns’s Riverside Chapel Florence Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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