Earthman Southwest Funeral Home

12555 South Kirkwood, Stafford, TX


Paul Oliver Van Gilder

September 2, 1937June 22, 2020

Paul Oliver VanGilder, 82, of Missouri City (Quail Valley area) passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 22, 2020. He was born September 2, 1937 in the small town of Owings, West Virginia to parents Jessie and Leoda (Vandergrift) VanGilder. Paul served his country proudly in the US Air Force, retiring after a 22 year career and then devoted himself to a second career in Banking and Finance. He achieved his Bachelors of Science Degree in Accounting by way of the GI Bill. Along the way he met and married Bessie Roberts with whom he shared his life for 46 years. A member of the Kiwanis Club and the Sons of the American Revolution, Paul was a frequent traveler, loved his time with friends and family, and was best known by most as an avid golfer. He is preceded in death by one daughter; Leslie Logan, and one sister; Margaret Saulsby. Those left to miss him are his loving wife of 46 years, Bessie (Roberts) VanGilder: Sons Steve VanGilder and wife Cathy, and Mike VanGilder. Step-Children Debra Graham and husband Gene, Gregory Banks and wife Barbara, and Belinda Spence and husband John: 10 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and one sister, Judy Dover, As well as numerous other family, colleagues, golf buddies, and friends. Funeral Services will be held at the Houston National Cemetery, in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 1:15 pm.


  • 1st United Methodist Church


  • Committal Service

    Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Paul Oliver Van Gilder

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Jon Clark

July 2, 2020

We are so sorry for your loss, Bud was a great man and he will be missed. Please know that you all are in our hearts and prayers. I was fortunate to meet Bud on the golf course at Quail Valley. He and I played in many tournaments together. My wife and I were with him when he got his first Hole in One. I will always remember how excited he was and the "chest bump" that followed. That smile of his and his genuine kindness is one of the many things that we will always remember. Rest in Peace My Friend.

Jon & Stefanie Clark

Ashley Johns

July 1, 2020

Today we laid my Grampa to rest. I remember when I was little that Grandpa was intimidating. It may have been because my Nanny told me, jokingly, not to talk to old men in Walmart parking lots and I completely ignored my grandpa as we passed him. Or it could have been because of his proper, military demeanor. I always held my Grandpa in the highest respect. He visited us in Maryland often, taking us on road trips to family reunions in West Virginia and Florida. He always lended a helping hand, no matter what. He supported Ben and I so much when we had to move down here in 2005.

As I got older, Grandpa was there for every single important milestone as I entered adulthood. Senior high award night and graduation, my wedding (where he was my DJ and live singer), college graduation, welcoming Rowen to the world, Rowen's first steps in his backyard, my Master's graduation, and the death of my mom. He was always the supportive rock of the Van Gilder side.

I will miss getting voicemails of his cheery, "Ashley, it's Grandpa." I'll miss his birthday calls each year with him and Grammie belting out the Happy Birthday song before I could finish saying hello. I will miss him getting his "Rowen fix," his name for visits with his first red-headed great-grandson (the trait had skipped my generation completely). I will miss him hiding golf balls for Rowen to find on our visits in case there weren't enough unfortunate golfers to litter the yard before our visit.

Grandpa, you were an amazing influence in my life. I will love you forever and it is comforting to know my mom has her daddy with her again. ❤️❤️❤️

Ben Logan

June 30, 2020

Paul was a beloved grandfather. One of my earliest memories was his infectious laughter. I couldn't have been more the 3 or 4 years old and I asked him for a sip of his drink. He let me have just a taste knowing I would spit it out and make a silly face. I remember him just guffawing straight from the belly. I didn't understand why he was laughing at the time, but I couldn't help but join in.

If there is one thing I will always remember about my grandfather was his infectious laugh that would spread around the room. He was a beacon for our family and the world is lesser without him.

Al Luna

June 28, 2020

I was so sorry to hear about Bud's passing. My wife and I met Bud and Bessie on an Alaskan cruise 14 years ago. We had so much fun on that cruise and got to see how talented Bud was in singing Johnny Cash songs...he was the grand champion in the karaoke contest. After that trip Bud and I continued our friendship by playing golf at least three times a week. He was my buddy, my friend, and I will miss him terribly.

Al Luna

Ray Vandergrift

June 25, 2020

This is Ray's youngest daughter, Sheila. We have so many happy memories of times Bud and daddy spent together over the years. Bud always had a smile on his face and hug for all of us. We are so sad for his passing, but so glad he was part of our family. We love him so much and we shall miss him. Our love and prayers for all of the family.
The Vandergrift Family - Ray & Nancy; Linda, Bob & David; Sheila & Marty.

Linda Mastin

June 24, 2020

We are so sorry for your loss, Bud has always been a great guy . Please know that you all are in our hearts and minds. Love and prayers from the Vandergrift family, Ray and Nancy, Linda ,Bob and David, and Sheila and Marty .