James (Jim) Gilchrist, 72, died Thursday, Jan. 28 at his home in Zephyrhills, Fla.
Born Sept. 7, 1948 in Walton, Jim was the son of the late Howard and Isabelle (Hinckley) Gilchrist. He attended Miller Avenue Elementary School in Walton before moving to Delhi in 1958. He was a 1966 graduate of Delaware Academy and Central School in Delhi. He continued his studies at University of Vermont and Parsons College, graduating from Parsons in 1970. Jim joined the U.S. Army and served in the Thua Thien province of South Vietnam during the Vietnam conflict from 1970 to 1972.
After his discharge, Jim obtained a Master of Social Work (MSW) and worked for San Francisco County as a child welfare caseworker for 26 years. Jim returned to the east coast in 1998 and worked a few years in the Scranton, Pa., area before moving to Arizona where he worked in the Phoenix area. Jim moved to Florida in 2004 where he worked as a school bus driver for the Zephyrhills school district until his retirement in 2010.
Jim had a gift for music, which he received from his mother. He enjoyed playing the piano at his home in Betmar Park. Jim enjoyed flowers and studied horticulture while living in California. He loved PBS television, Jeopardy, and NPR radio. Jim enjoyed road trips and traveled several times across the country to visit friends in California and Arizona. He looked forward to summer trips with his family to the Acadia area on the Maine coast.
In recent years, Jim enjoyed spending time with his family. He was a great uncle and brother, there in the good and the hard times. He was one of the family’s best storytellers who never let the facts get in the way of a great tale. He enjoyed traveling and playing games with them, often beating them at Scrabble.
Surviving are his brother John Gilchrist and wife Lois (McCandlish), Bradenton, Fla.; a niece Sarah (Washington Court House, Ohio) and a nephew Andrew (Bradenton, Fla.); and 16 cousins.
Jim was very thankful for the caretakers at Home Instead who provided loving care for him and allowed him to remain in his home. Jim also appreciated the care of Dr. Juan Cevallos and the staff at Gulfside Hospice during recent weeks as his illness progressed.
There is no memorial service planned at this time. The interment will be at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Fla., in February.