Charlene J. Gilman, 63

O charlene gilman

Charlene J. Gilman

WINDHAM — Charlene Jane Gilman, 63, died on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, at her home after a yearlong illness.

Born in Portland on Aug. 18, 1950, she was the daughter of Charles A. and Dorothy J. (Sayward) Rowe. She was raised and educated in Windham and was a 1968 graduate of Windham High School. After high school, she enrolled in the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, graduating from there as a Registered Nurse in 1971.

She began her career in health care at the former Osteopathic Hospital, in Portland, where she worked as a Registered Nurse for several years before becoming the Director of Nursing at Crossroads. Charlene later became a consultant to nursing homes and assisted living facilities; she was a staff trainer and wrote many of the training manuals that are still in use today.

Charlene officially retired from the health care profession in 2012, but continued to serve as president of the family business, The Gilco Corporation.

On July 31, 1971, she married her high school sweetheart, Jim Gilman. As a couple, they raised two children together and have been lifelong residents here.

A lady of many talents and interests, Charlene was an amazing cook; she grew her own flowers from seed, often starting in December or January to get them ready for spring planting. Her vegetable gardens were legendary, providing friends and neighbors with fresh produce. She also provided fresh vegetables for local folks in elderly housing and canned enough to get through to the next growing season.

She was an expert marksman, loved to shoot and enjoyed bird hunting with her husband each fall. She also loved the ocean and enjoyed lobstering, shark fishing, as well as whale and dolphin watching.

She loved to entertain family and friends whether a backyard pool party, a lobster cookout or just getting together with a few friends to talk, laugh and have a cool drink together; she truly loved her family and friends. Charlene was a person of quick wit, with a keen sense of humor and a great smile.

Besides her parents; one brother, Dennis Rowe, predeceased her in 1977.

Survivors include her husband, Jim Gilman of Windham; a son, Casey D. Gilman of Hampstead, N.C.; a daughter, Katie J. Houghtaling of Standish; two brothers, Stanley C. Rowe of Maine and Florida and Morris A. Rowe, also of Maine and Florida; a sister, Melinda Paterson of Casco; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, at the Dolby Funeral Chapel, 434 River Road, Windham, followed by a funeral service at 11:30 a.m. Burial will be private. To leave a message of condolence, please visit

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