MCDONALD, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – James E. Van Gilder, 74, passed away early Friday morning, April 28, 2023, at his home with his family by his side.
James was born September 17, 1948, in Warren, a son of the late Earle and Nora Hunt Van Gilder and was a lifelong area resident.
He was a 1967 graduate of McDonald High School and studied art at Kent State University.
He worked various jobs throughout his lifetime. Jim managed Hardy Shoes at the Eastwood Mall and he owned and operated Niles Aquarium and Pet Supply for over ten years. He also worked at IUE Local 717 Union Hall and Pizza Hut.
Mr. Van Gilder was an active member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in McDonald where he taught Youth Ministry for over 30 years.
Jim was a 3rd Degree Knight with the Knights of Columbus Council 4658 in McDonald where he also served as Grand Knight.
He greatly enjoyed the outdoors, working in his garden, tending to his many flowers and plants including gladiolus, hunting, fishing and camping. He had a passion for art and enjoyed painting and creating art. This passion and skill lead him to become a member of the Trumbull Art Gallery which he would visit often. Jim also enjoyed roller skating, visiting casinos, volunteering with several charitable organizations and bowling and was a member of the Girard Fraternal Bowling League at Kay Lanes as well as the Monday Mixed Bowling League at McKinley Lanes. In his younger days, Jim was a Troop Leader with Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts Troop 40. Jim was a dedicated husband and father and he especially enjoyed the time he spent with his family.
Jim leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of 50 years, Barbara Wehner Van Gilder whom he married September 2, 1972; his daughter, Beth Van Gilder of McDonald; his son, David Van Gilder of McDonald; two brothers, Roger (Linda) Van Gilder of Warren and Charles Van Gilder (Mary O’Shaughnessy) of Port Townsend, Washington; three brothers-in-law, Richard (Beth) Wehner of Ankeny, Iowa, David Wehner of Columbus and Doug Wehner (Erin Litschert) of Ashville, North Carolina and a sister-in-law, Judy Wehner (Nick Failing) of Raleigh, North Carolina.
He was a great philosopher and artist with a very kind heart and always put his family first. Jim will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Family and friends may gather to pay respects from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 618 Ohio Avenue, McDonald, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m.
Entombment will take place at Pineview Memorial Park in Warren at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, Jim’s family suggests memorial contributions be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, 317 Via Mt. Carmel Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44505
Arrangements have been entrusted to Kinnick Funeral Home in Girard.
A television tribute will air Wednesday, May 3 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.