Dr. Edward B. Gilmore, 82, died peacefully at MDI Hospital Aug. 8, 2022, after a long and fortunate life. He was born Aug. 15, 1939, the son of Harry C. and Emma E. (Hall) Gilmore in Clairton, Pa. He graduated from Clairton High School in 1957. In high school he was class president, valedictorian and president of the national Honor Society.
In 1961, he graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., with an AB in chemistry, high honors and distinction, and election to the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.
On June 10, 1961, after graduating from Wesleyan and before entering Harvard Medical School, he married his high school sweetheart, Marsha Snyder, and they enjoyed a loving and intimate marriage of 54 years until her death on July 3, 2015. They were blessed with three wonderful and challenging children, Kristin, Eric and Britta. Dr. Gilmore was a passionate but often absentee father because of his demanding medical career. Fortunately, his wife, Marsha, was a quintessential mother and the leader of the family. There was a saying around the Gilmore household, “Dr. Gilmore practices medicine and Marsha does everything else!”
In 1965, Dr. Gilmore graduated from Harvard Medical School, cum laude with election to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Medical Society. He completed his internship and medical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he also studied one year as a Fellow in renal diseases.
On June 1, 1971, he entered private medical practice at Bar Harbor Medical Associates and Mount Desert Island Hospital, where he served his patients and the Bar Harbor community for 46 years until his retirement in June 2017. At MDI Hospital he served as chief of medicine, medical director of critical care services, president of the medical staff and later as chief medical officer.
Although during his long career he held multiple administrative positions, his basic love of medical practice was rooted in direct patient care — in the office, the emergency room, or at the bedside. He always regarded it a privilege to be a physician. He strived to live up to the motto of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, “To be worthy to serve the suffering.”
During his long career he received numerous awards and accolades. In 1990, he received the Laureate Award of the Maine Chapter of the American College of Physicians. In 1997, he received the highest award of that organization when he was elected Master of the American College of Physicians.
In addition to direct patient care he also loved to teach the science and art of medical care. He was a widely respected mentor to medical students, interns and residents, nurses and physician colleagues. In 1995, he received the Master Teacher Award of the Maine Chapter of the American College of Physicians.
Dr. Gilmore always had a special place in his heart for nurses and the nursing profession. He was known to frequently share anecdotes where alert and astute nurses had saved him from possible oversights and contributed greatly to the care of his patients. He always regarded nurses as colleagues in patient care — not as his handmaidens. He especially treasured the Special Recognition Award he received from the Maine State Nurses’ Association in 1989 for recognition of his Major Advocacy Role for Nursing in the community.
Dr. Gilmore took fashion cues from no one! His signature everyday year-round look was all his: LL Bean short sleeve (rolled up) oxford cloth shirt, bow tie, khaki pants and later tan suspenders.
Years before he retired you could see him every Tuesday afternoon playing tennis with his friends. Rumor has it that he was very competitive and not always a good sport!
After he retired one of his favorite things was to sleep in and drink many cups of coffee while leisurely hanging out in his bathrobe. He loved to read (medical journals, general news, novels and poetry), watch sports on TV and drink high-quality pure malt scotch at 4 p.m., dining out with friends at The Chart Room and Mama Dimatteo’s. He always emphasized that he had enjoyed a lucky, fortunate and happy life!
He is survived by a very special and dear friend, Melodie Haskell. During his final years with inevitable functional decline, Melodie became the center of his life and a constant source of joy, love, hope and happiness.
A memorial service will be planned for September. Friends, patients and colleagues may make memorial contributions if they wish to MDI Hospital,10 Wyman Lane, Bar Harbor, ME 04609.
Arrangements in care of Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.