Alden Reed Gilman, 93

WILMINGTON — Alden Reed Gilman, 93, passed away peacefully on November 18, 2021, with his loving daughters by his side.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Phoebe Ames Gilman, in 2004.

Alden is survived by his daughter, Lisa G. Purdom and her son, William S. Purdom, Jr., his wife, Sarah Catherine Purdom and great-grandson, William S. Purdom III, daughter, Susan E. Gilman and husband Bradford W. MacKenzie, daughter, Sharon A. Raus and husband Martin A. Raus and grandchildren, Amanda L. Raus and Martin A. Raus.

Alden devoted his life to God, his family and country. A pioneer throughout his life, Alden was a veteran of the US Air Force, serving with distinction and earning recognition for his academic talents. Alden graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where he double majored in math and chemistry. He quickly found employment working at the MIT Lincoln Lab, located in Cambridge, MA, where he worked for the US Government to develop understanding of the paths Radio Active fallout would take in the upper atmosphere during some of the earliest nuclear weapons tests. After the MIT Lincoln Lab was dissolved, Alden joined Nuclear Metals in 1954, in Concord, MA for the remainder of his career. He played a critical role in the development of non-destructive testing methods for nuclear fuel elements, dissimilar metal bonds, and extruded powder metallurgy products. When the space race began, Alden again found himself on the cutting edge working for the APPOLO program, where he earned recognition from NASA for developing a method of fusing dissimilar metals capable of withstanding the extreme temperatures associated with space flight.

Alden was an Elder at SACPC and a member of Civitan. Throughout his life, he enjoyed fly fishing, bicycling, restoring his 1959 MG and spending time with his family.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Foundation at michaeljfox.org, Saint Andrews Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1416 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 or Lower Cape Fear Life Care, 1414 Physicians Dr., Wilmington, NC 28401.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments