Eugene Morin Gillum age 93, former longtime Portland Physician passed away Wednesday in Chelsea Retirement Village in Chelsea, Michigan. He was born August 12, 1920 in Union City, Indiana the son of Curtis and Ruth (Bortner) Gillum. He was married November 25, 1948 to Jane Lawrence who survives.
Eugene graduated from Winchester High School in 1938. Wright Aeronautical Corporation in Cincinnati, Ohio gave Eugene his first job as a production engineer. A year later, he was promoted to service representative and was stationed with the Army Air Corp in Salina, Kansas. He was working with B-29 combat crews. In 1944
he was inducted into the Army Air Corp as part of the 20th Air Force, 315 Bomb Wing in Guam. While in Guam, Eugene worked on his beloved B-29 and took many photos of the B-29 Nose art. These photos are some of the only records of WW II military art, and have been subject of much study and even Art and Military Museum installations in 2012.
Eugene was discharged in May 1946. He returned to his family in Richmond, Indiana and decided to go to medical school. He needed additional credits and went to Earlham College in 1948 and got his BS in Science. His sister Marcella went to nursing school and his brother Duane went to medical school as well. They were all quite proud of their medical professions.
While in Richmond Gene and Jane met and married. Jane supported Gene through IU Medical School by teaching in the Speedway schools. Eugen graduated Medical School in 1953, completed his rotation at Indianapolis General Hospital in 1954 and then moved to Portland to start his practice.
Eugene and Jane were extremely proud of the Portland community that they helped build. They both supported the Arts, and in particular Eugene always loved piano and organ music, both to play for himself and to listen and marvel at other performers. They supported many local foundations and museums and were proud that Portland had so many things to offer to central Indiana culture. Together they acted the role of “Country Doctor and his Wife” at the Jay County Historical Society events. Eugene was also dedicated to preserving and respecting the history of WW II and worked to help start and support the Museum of the Soldier with his time, energy and collections.
Gene and Jane traveled the US and the world, exploring the natural world, following Gene’s love of geology and Jane’s love of art. They brought back pictures and experiences that they gladly shared with friends and family. Eugene collected Antique Drug bottles, model trains and planes and Indian artifacts with passion and love. He loved to teach and lecture to whomever would listen, always interested in sharing his knowledge with others.
In Gene’s medical practice, he celebrated his position as healer and caregiver to the families in the Jay County area. He delivered over 2500 babies during his practice and helped recruit and build the medical care system necessary for supporting Jay County residents. He spent countless hours helping create the National Academy of Family Practice Physicians as a physician peer support organization and was a founding member of the Indiana Academy of Family Practice.
Eugene had his family practice in Portland for thirty nine years retiring in 1992. He served as Jay County Health Officer for thirty six years. Served on the Jay County Hospital Board, Portland Chamber of Commerce, Zoning Board, Industrial Development Board, Joh Jay Board, Arts Place, Museum of the Soldier, Portland Foundation, First Presbyterian Church and Mason and Shriner for over fifty years.
Surviving are his wife Jane, one son Larry Gillum of Lake Villa, Illinois, One daughters Mrs. Dan (Janene) Centurione of Ann Arbor, Mi., One brother Duane Gillum of Lexington, Ky. and Five grandchildren
A memorial service for Eugene M. Gillum will be held at a later date. Memorials can be directed to the Museum of the Soldier, Jay County Historical Society or Jay County Hospital all of Portland, Indiana. Baird-Freeman Funeral Home 221 North Meridian Street Portland, Indiana are in charge of the arrangements.