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Warren Lee Gilmour

May 19, 2024 - 00:00
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  • Warren Lee Gilmour
  • Warren Lee Gilmour

Warren Lee Gilmour passed away at his home Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, surrounded by family. Passing just five days before his 91st birthday, Warren lived a full life.

Born in 1932, the second baby born in the new Kingfisher Hospital operated by his aunt Mary Gilmour, Warren grew up on the wheat farm of his parents, Glenn and Elizabeth Gilmour, in Kingfisher with his siblings James Gilmour and Gladys Hopkins.

Warren attended Washington Elementary School, both Kingfisher junior high and high schools, graduating in 1950.

He was active in the high school band, class government and plays.

That period was made most memorable by the yellow Model “T” Ford owned by him and neighbor Monroe Kottwitz and seen everywhere in town with a carload of friends.

The military draft ended the summer of 1950 with a call which he answered by enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He served just under four years on the USS LSMR 404 (Landing Ship Medium Rocket), including two tours to Korean waters where the ship participated in many coastal bombardment missions. Near the end of his enlistment, he married his high school sweetheart Eleanor Burnett of Kingfi sher.

Upon discharge from the Navy in August 1954, the G.I. Bill offered the opportunity to attend Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University) from which he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (1958) and a Master of Science (ME) in 1959.

His immediate hire upon graduation brought him and his growing family to the Lockheed Aircraft Company in Burbank, Calif., where he worked as a Structures Research Engineer working on advanced materials and qualification tests on aircraft and missile components.

After two years, he changed careers, moving into the new Operations Research discipline studying the operational effectiveness of military systems, chiefly armed Army helicopters.

After Lockheed won the development contract for a new armed helicopter system, the AH-56A Cheyenne, he became manager of the Rotary Wing Operations Research Department in 1969.

In 1972, he joined the Lord Corporation in Erie, Pa., as head of Advance System Design. The group developed off-road vehicle elastomeric spring systems for trucks, as well as railroad cars, and performing tests to qualify the blade retention bearings for the Army UH-60.

Upon his return to Lockheed in 1974, he joined Lockheed’s famed Skunk Works again in Operations Research working out mission performance requirements for the U-2 and SR-71 spy aircraft.

In 1976 discussions with two cohorts, the radar signature reduction technical breakthrough was identified that led to the development of the F-117 Stealth fighter and has been subsequently applied to all new U.S. military weapons systems hence.

His contribution is recognized on the basic concept patent.

As Division Manager, Operations Research, then, he led studies assessing the value of stealth in combat missions. The predictions made then for the F-117 Nighthawk were proven in Operation Desert Storm.

In 1979, he became program manager of a major stealth vehicle development, one of the earliest applications of the new stealth concepts. The program led to the formation of the Unmanned Aircraft Branch of the Lockheed California Co. to pursue a new line of business for the corporation.

The remainder of his career was engaged in management of several other classified stealth-related programs until his retirement in 1992 with several projects still classifi ed today.

Warren liked to say he learned most essential engineering, systems-analysis and problem-solving skills from his father (who also allowed him the freedom to explore and experiment on the farm), often commenting his father was one of the best engineers he knew.

In 1985 the marriage to Eleanor ended in divorce and later Warren married Lyn Myers of Knollwood, Calif.

After they each retired from Lockheed in 1992, Warren and Lyn relocated to Sandy, Utah, where property management became a second career. They had been active in the Lockheed Employees Ski Club in Burbank, Calif., as well as the Newcomers Club of Salt Lake City, Retired Members Social Group (RMSG).

They traveled extensively with many friends over the years.

Warren loved to make and listen to music. Learning several instruments throughout his life, he found himself first in a small band while in the Navy and, later, in retirement, gathering friends and making a few CDs of themselves.

Warren was preceded in death by both his first and second wives, Eleanor Gilmour Sasaki and Lyn Gilmour, as well as his brother and sister-in-law, James and Patricia Gilmour, and their daughter Ann.

Heissurvivedbyhisthree girls with Eleanor, Janice Gilmour of Pahrump, Nev., Rebecca Lane (Michael) with grandchildren James Lane (Sarah), Shannon Von Toor (Brae) and Kyle Lane of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and daughter Jamay Gilmour of Pahrump, Nev.; along with Lyn’s children Keith Myers (Kris) of Simi Valley, Calif., with grandchildren Derek Myers (Rachel), Stephanie Myers of Duluth, Ga., David Myers with grandchildren Kyle Myers (Nikki), Scott Myers, Lindsey Reese (Peter) of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Lori Kennedy (Kevin), with grandchildren Kassidy Beckstrand (Braeden), Brittan Ham (Angi) of Salt Lake City, Utah, as well many great-grandchildren.

Warren is also survived by his sister Gladys Hopkins (John) of Kingfisher as well as many nieces and nephews with extended family across Oklahoma and his niece- and nephewin-law of Utah. Quick to share any and all of his knowledge on a surprising array of subjects, Warren had an insatiable desire to learn, analyze, problem solve and share what he learned.

A patient, forgiving and supportive listener, he made friends wherever he went.

Warren was respected and appreciated by those who had the opportunity to meet him. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and family.

Services will be held at the Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park at 3401 S. Highland, Salt Lake City, Utah, at 11 a.m. Saturday June 1.