Gerald David Gilman

December 17, 1939October 6, 2020

Gerald David (Jerry) Gilman went to be with the Lord on October 6, 2020 after a three-year battle with multiple myeloma.

Jerry was born on December 17, 1939, in Colorado Springs, Colorado to Anna and John Albert Gilman. The family was moving to Salem, Oregon where Jerry attended Swegle Elementary School, Parrish Junior High, and then North Salem High. Jerry was active as both a student and athlete, serving as North Salem’s student body president and a team captain for the football team his senior year in 1958.

The following year, Jerry married Ann Marie Cates—who had been his love interest since eighth grade. Less than a year later, they welcomed first son Mark while living near the campus of Oregon College of Education in Monmouth.

Jerry attended OCE to become a teacher, while also playing football for the Wolves under legendary coach John McArthur. During that time, the family also welcomed their first daughter, Merilee.

After college, Jerry became part of the teaching ranks in the fall of 1962 as a math instructor at South Salem High School, as well as an assistant football coach for the Saxons. In that first year at South, second daughter Melinda was born. In 1969, Jerry and Ann welcomed second son Mike into the family. On the football field, the Saxons were a force, culminating in a celebrated state championship in 1971. Jerry received credit for developing the defensive strategy that helped South beat Grants Pass in the title game at Eugene’s Autzen Stadium.

That success propelled Jerry to other coaching positions, including the first head football coach at Sprague High School, and as an assistant at McNary High in Keizer.

Jerry’s teaching and coaching continued for several more years, before he took time off to watch his youngest son play. But in 1988, he got a new job offer—from his son, Mark. They worked as team for thirty years, covering high school football and basketball on local radio stations. The exposure led to Mark and Jerry adding coverage of Western Oregon University football to their work in 2010, where they worked together for several years.

Jerry’s life was one of activity and service. He operated the Salem Football School for 25 years, served on the deacon board of Salem First Baptist Church and on the board of the Union Gospel Mission. He also was active in Young Life and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and taught many Sunday school classes.

Jerry is survived by Ann, his wife of 61 years; his eldest son Mark (Theresa), daughter Merilee Barrett (Rick), daughter Melinda Parker (Kurt) and son Mike (Katie). Jerry also leaves behind eleven grandchildren: Heidi, Jamie, Kristy; Amy, Stephanie, Ashley, and Elizabeth; Jared and Blane, and Zachary and Taylor. Jerry also leaves behind six great grandchildren. And he is survived by his three sisters, Mary, Margaret and Nell.

In lieu of gifts, the family asks donations be made to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes of Greater Salem by contacting Taylor Wilkins at


  • Celebration of Life for Jerry Gilman

    Saturday, October 17, 2020


Gerald David Gilman

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carl Christman

October 16, 2020

Jerry played basketball on Wednesdays for about 25 years. I never had the opportunity to teach with him and I'm sure I missed quite a bit. Church league softball was another of Jerry's activities and with everything else, he always played hard. Be on the lookout buddy, I'll be coming soon.

Prayers for Mark and the entire family.

Nathan Fortner

October 16, 2020

My condolences to the Gilman family. Jerry will be remembered for many years by the people that knew him. He helped a lot of us grow from kids to young men during his coaching days. He always set a good example with his words, deeds and faith. He was truly a friend, coach, leader and teacher. You will be missed Coach Gilman!

Sammie McCormack

October 14, 2020

My husband Ray (Mack) McCormack played football with Jerry at OCE. Later I knew him when I was an administrator at Sprague and later McNary. He was a kind and even gentle-man. My condolences to the entire family.

Linda Iverson

October 14, 2020

Thanks for all your service to the Salem Community Coach Jerry. Your family are in my prayers. Rest in power coach❤️❤️❤️.

Don Stupfel

October 13, 2020

I was fortunate to work with Jerry during High School Football in the 90’s. Very gracious and just easy to talk to. He will be missed but I know he is in heaven and enjoying being with his Savior!!! Praying for the family during this time...

Robert Danielian

October 13, 2020

I worked with Jerry many years scheduling McNary facilities for the Boy's Club. He was always welcoming and gracious with me.


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