Tommy R. Gilmer “Coach G”, passed away peacefully at his home on September 1, 2021 at the age of 88 with his family by his side.  He was a kind, humble man with a great wit and sense of humor.  He was an amazing father, grandfather, brother, teacher, coach and friend to many.  Tom enjoyed his life and considered himself a lucky man.

Tom was born on February 19, 1933 to William Avery Gilmer and Mary Lillian Sykes Gilmer (Wessie) in Marshall, Texas.  He was the youngest of three children.

Tom graduated early from Seminole HS in 1949 and began working at his first job with the phone company, Ma Bell.  He then went to Western NM University on a basketball scholarship but once there he played football and tennis as well.  He was active in many clubs including Student Council.  He was dorm proctor and VP of his Senior Class.  In 1956 he was voted “Most Popular” by the Western’s Annual Poll.  He graduated with a teaching degree in Business and Physical Education.

After his graduation he married and moved to Albuquerque, NM and was called up for active duty but was denied for a pre-existing condition. He then moved to Calexico, CA where he coached for one year.  He then moved to Morenci, AZ and was there coaching for four years.  In Morenci is where his first two children were born.  He then moved to Payson, AZ and coached for almost two years.  By 1965 he moved to Truth or Consequences, NM and found his final and perfect place to call home.  Once in T. or C., his youngest child was born.

Tom coached middle school PE in T. or C. for many, many years and this is where he made such a difference in many young lives.  He loved helping people, whether it was helping them run extra programs or letting kids live with him, you knew he could be counted on.  

Tom enjoyed many activities.  He was a volunteer fire fighter and a driver’s education teacher.  He enjoyed watching football, especially college football but also loved playing tennis and golf.  He enjoyed two (2) Holes in One in his lifetime.    He looked forward to the yearly fishing trips in the White Mountains of Arizona with his coaching friends.  Tom enjoyed song writing and word rhyming. He won Golden Poet Awards and several Honorable Mentions for Poems submitted through the World of Poetry.  Later in life he kept himself busy creating sand bottles and miniature model buildings.  I believe his all-time favorite hobby was buying used cars.  He loved the “new to him” car feel.

Tom was preceded in death by his father and mother; his brother, Billy Ray Gilmer; and his sister, Johnnie May Stanley; his sons, Lawrence Bruce Gilmer and Louis Brian Gilmer; and his grandson, Dylan Joseph Padilla.

Tom is survived by his son, Bradley Gilmer and his daughter, Tracey Padilla.  He leaves behind two granddaughters, two nieces and many friends.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Tom “Coach” Gilmer on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at the Civic Center on 400 W. 4th Ave. in T or C.  from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.  All are welcome to attend.  There will not be a formal service, just a gathering to remember this great man.

Arrangements are by Kirikos Family Funeral Home, Inc. & Sierra Crematory, LLC, 303 N. Cedar St., T. or C., NM 87901, 575/894-2574.  For online memorial messages please visit


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