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Spending Saturday honoring Bernie
Courtesy Photo by Maureen Gilmer The family of Bernie Gilmer, a 1959 Great Bend High School, paid tribute to their patriarch with a wiffle ball game Saturday.


Bernie Lee Gilmer, a 1959 Great Bend graduate, left a lasting legacy.

Gilmer was a longtime journalist, author, entrepreneur and sports fanatic, who passed away March 22, 2022, in Indianapolis, Ind.

According to his obituary, Bernie was born June 26, 1941, in Great Bend, the son of B.L. and Ruby L. Gilmer. His older brother, Jimmie D. Gilmer, encouraged him to play sports and chronicled his achievements on the baseball diamond, the football field and the tennis court. As an adult, Bernie introduced many friends to fast-pitch softball.

“Our family, including seven adult children, a couple spouses and a grandchild, will have a graveside service in his family plot,” said Maureen Gilmer, his widow. “We will honor Bernie’s memory with a game of softball/wiffle ball at Veterans Park at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.”

Commemorative T-shirts have been designed. Relatives will arrive from Florida, North Carolina, Indiana and Washington, D.C.

According to Gilmer’s obit, the father of eight, grandfather and great-grandfather, loved nothing more than having family around. He wasa fan of Purdue and Kansas State athletics, the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves.

“Bernie was thrilled when the Atlanta Braves won last year’s World Series,” Maureen said.

Bernie served as editor of the Great Bend student newspaper and earned a degree in technical journalism from Kansas State University. He enjoyed a long career as a sportswriter and newspaper editor. He working in Kansas, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina and Indiana, including The Shelbyville News and The Indianapolis News.

Later in life, he launched an online newspaper in Franklin Township, continuing to cover high school sports and community news. He received the Todd L. Cougill Award for contributions to Franklin Central athletics.