Posted 10/25/19

January 31, 1931 – October 19, 2019

Dawn Leach Gilmore, age 88, passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at Friends Homes West in Greensboro, North Carolina.

A Service of …

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January 31, 1931 – October 19, 2019

Dawn Leach Gilmore, age 88, passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at Friends Homes West in Greensboro, North Carolina.

A Service of Remembrance will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, October 25, 2019 at Forbis & Dick Guilford Chapel, 5926 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro NC 27410. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 10:45. Following the service, a graveside service will be held at Gilmore Memorial Park, 6504 Liberty Road, Julian, NC 27283.

Dawn was born in Greensboro, NC on January 31, 1931 to Edith Price Leach and Paul Archibald Leach. Predeceased by husband, Dr. Brooks W. Gilmore, she is survived by daughters Dora Nelson (Mac) of Asheville, NC, Edie Gilmore (Sam Pelligra) of Kernersville, NC, Anne Thorn of Greensboro, NC, and Nancy Davenport (Jay) of Greensboro, NC; grandchildren Major Paul Brooks Zeigler, USAF, of Box Elder, SD, Sgt. John M. Zeigler of Asheville, NC, Adam Thorn of Greensboro, NC, Kyle Pelligra (Claire) of Cary, NC, Rachael Thorn, of Philadelphia, PA, and Gina Perez (Christian) of Burlington, NC.

Dawn graduated from Greensboro High School and attended Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, NC. The first in her family to attend and graduate from college, she was an accomplished musician who mastered a range of instruments over the years, chief among them the piano. As a young pianist, Dawn performed at Greensboro College and Woman’s College, now UNC-Greensboro, and was a featured concerto soloist with the Greensboro Symphony.

In June 1953, she married Brooks W. Gilmore and moved to Philadelphia and eventually to Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Dawn loved Arizona, finding it a wonderful place to raise a young family. She returned there to visit as often as she could after the Gilmore family—Brooks, Dawn, and their four daughters—returned to Greensboro in 1961.

Now settled in Greensboro, Dawn began her long tenure of service to the Piedmont Chapter of the North Carolina Unit of the Herb Society of America. One of the founding members of the Piedmont Chapter, she served for many years as the organization’s Treasurer and held various Board positions at the state level. The essence of Dawn’s leadership was her “get there early and stay late” approach to all Chapter endeavors, most visible, perhaps, at the annual plant sales, where generations of Greensboro herb enthusiasts will remember the delight she took in assisting them. Among Dawn’s proudest achievements were the active roles she played in developing the herb gardens at Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden in Kernersville and the kitchen and dye gardens at the Greensboro Historical Museum. Her interest in herbs was broad and deep, prompting her lifelong immersion in all areas of horticulture and related arts, crafts, cooking, literature, and research. Of special importance to her was attainment of the NC Master Gardener distinction, which facilitated Dawn’s engagement in community education and outreach on a wide variety of horticultural subjects and through a broad spectrum of projects.

Dawn and Brooks shared a mutual love of history, genealogy, and North Carolina pottery. She volunteered at the Greensboro Historical Museum, and both she and Brooks were instrumental in supporting the pottery museums in Seagrove, NC and Sanford, NC. Together they worked to rebuild the John Brooks home, circa 1755, in Chatham County, NC, an accomplishment that graced their later years and brought such pleasure to their family. She and Brooks never tired of sharing the history of the home, a highlight of which was Dawn’s herb garden tours.

The family extends their sincere appreciation to the many friends, family members, and the staff of Friends Homes West for their love, care and support.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Please share remembrances and condolences online at: forbisanddick.com .


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