Marion Parker Gilman
Chelsea, Vt. — Marion Parker Gilman, 84, a long time resident of Chelsea, died peacefully at her home on Barre corner, after a long illness.
Marion was born in East Brookfield on October 14, 1928, the third child of Willis Edward and Glenna (Kennett) Parker. Her ancestors were among the early settlers of this region. She lived on the family farm and attended the local district school until she left home in the fall of 1942 to attend Chelsea High School. She and her older sister Lottie boarded with local families. Marion graduated in 1946. After graduation she was hired by Anna Grant to work as an operator in the Chelsea telephone office, until it closed in 1953. She took a one year leave from this job to move to Barre and work at the new JJ Newbury’s, at the jewelry and luncheon counters. In 1949, she was worked as a waitress in Florence Laffley’s restaurant and part time as a telephone operator. She would work at the restaurant again in later years when owned by Norma Anderson and then Steve Watson. On November 8, 1949 Marion was married to W.S. “Sid” Gilman of Chelsea in Tunbridge, Vt. For three years they lived in the apartment above the Chelsea Co-op, then in September 1952 purchased the home on Barre corner where they would make their lifetime home.
In 1985 she began baking for Will’s Store in Chelsea. During this time she won numerous blue ribbons for her baking at the Tunbridge World’s Fair and the Vermont Farm Show. She continued baking for Will’s Store for 10 years, then cutting back to just making her Sour Milk Doughnuts, finally retiring in 2003. In 1993 she was featured in Yankee Magazine’s article on Blue Ribbon Bakers, extolling her award winning doughnuts. From 1996 to 2002, Marion made ice cream for Will’s Store. Marion was a member of the Chelsea Service Guild for more than 60 years. For the Service Guild she was the Chairman of the Chelsea Flea Market from its beginning in 1972 to 1992. For many years she helped to organize the local church suppers, including the annual Chicken Pie Supper, Hunter’s Roast Beef Supper, Orange County Sugarmakers’ Dinner and many more. She was very active in the United Church of Chelsea, serving on the Executive Board for many years. She was a member of the VFW Auxiliary Post for more than 60 years. She was a member of the Branch Club since 1949.
Besides cooking, dancing and high school basketball, Marion loved to travel. She went on numerous bus trips and cruises. She traveled to Florida, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, the Panama Canal, Alaska, Hawaii, Nova Scotia, England, Atlantic City, Branson, Holland, Michigan, Kansas City, Las Vegas and many more. She loved gardening, especially her flower gardens. She also loved to host gatherings at her and Sid’s camp, “The Tamarack Lodge”, which they bought in 1960 and slowly rebuilt.
Marion was predeceased by her husband, W.S. “Sid” Gilman; four sisters, Lottie Chubbuck, Irene Parker, Doris Bjorkman and Ruth Brown; three brothers, Clinton, Clayton and Paul Parker and a granddaughter, Christine Robbins.
She is survived by her companion Harold Luce; four children and their spouses, Marie and Tom Robbins of Randolph, Vt., Wilma and Norm Smith of Hinesburg, Vt., Will Gilman of Chelsea and Richard and Theresa Gilman of Chelsea, a brother Edward Parker of Hartford, Vt.; five sisters, Evelyn Greene of Meredith, N.H., Jean Flint of Albany, Vt., Phyllis Boles of South Royalton, Vt., Joyce Potwin of Wickenburg, Ariz., Nancy Potwin of Hartland, Vt.; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren and twins on the way; and many nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Boardway & Cilley Funeral Home, 300 VT RT 110, Chelsea, Vt. A funeral service will be held on Friday, May 10, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the United Church of Chelsea with a burial service following at the Riverside Cemetery in Chelsea. Refreshments will be served at Gilman’s camp.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the United Church of Chelsea, P.O. Box 98, Chelsea, Vt. 05038.