Rostraver man printed his love of God for others to see
Charles Gillingham spent the last few months of his life working on a religious tract he titled “God’s Road Map to Eternal Life.”
The 10-page tract was an outgrowth of his desire to spread God’s word and of his interest in artwork and printing, said his daughter Christi Crawford.
“He had a finished copy that he would give out to people,” she said. “The last few months, he was looking for a publisher to print them and distribute them. That was what he was working on in his last days.”
Charles D. Gillingham, of Rostraver, died Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, at Monongahela Valley Hospital. He was 85.
Born in Rostraver on Jan. 22, 1934, he was the son of the late Charles and Fern (Drew) Gillingham. He graduated from Rostraver High School in 1952. He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and served from 1953 to 1957.
Afterward, he attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and graduated with a two-year degree, his daughter said.
Although he worked most of his life as a truck driver for SuperValu in Rostraver, he indulged his interest in the arts by producing printed products — letterhead, business cards, etc. — for his friends, she said.
The first version of the tract “God’s Road Map to Eternal Life” he printed himself. It contained both Scripture verses and original text.
“He was passionate about it,” Crawford said. “He wanted to get God’s word out to people. He picked the paper. He wanted the perfect color of ink. He wanted the perfect font.”
Mr. Gillingham was gregarious by nature and didn’t shy away from handing the tract out to people wherever he went, she said.
“At the restaurant the other day, when he left the tip, he left the tract under the tip money. He’d say, ‘Here’s something for you to read,’ ” she said.
“He could strike up a conversation with anybody. He was so friendly,” she said. “He loved to talk and loved to socialize. He was just such a good guy.”
Mr. Gillingham is survived by his wife, Nancy (Dainty) Gillingham; three sons, George Gillingham, of Sutersville, David Gillingham and his wife, Marcy, of Rostraver, and Anthony Gillingham and his wife, Tracy, of Collinsburg; two daughters, Lori G. Stangroom, of Rostraver, and Christi Crawford and her husband, Brent, Perryopolis; 12 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and a brother, James S. Gillingham, of Rostraver.
Friends may call from 2 p.m. to 4 and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at the James C. Stump Funeral Home, 580 Circle Drive, Rostraver Township, where a funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday.
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .