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Harley G. Gilpin Jr.

10/15/1933 - 12/30/2021
Service Date: 01/11/2022
Service Time: 6:00 pm
Service Location: Bunker's University Chapel- 3529 E. University Dr., Mesa, AZ 85213
Interment: City of Mesa Cemetery

Harley Glenn Gilpin Jr. was born the only child of Harley and Mary Gilpin on October 15, 1933 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Family moved to Yuma, Arizona in 1943 where his grandparents lived.

He went to Crane Elementary School then went on to Yuma Union High School where he graduated in 1951. In high school he majored in photography, art, and auto mechanics.

Then on to college at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. He was an Air Force ROTC student cadet, graduating with a B.S in Aeronautics in 1955.

To pay his way through college he worked each summer between school. That gave him thew $1200.00 per year it took for all his college expenses in those days. Gasoline was only 25¢ per gallon. Then, the summer job was at Pacific Fruit Express in Yuma.

Then in his senior year at college he met his wife to be Barbara Jo Jacobs. They fast became an item. It was love at first sight for both.

Right away after graduation the Air Force called him into service for Pilot Training.

Since he was going to be away for 2 years, he decided to propose to Barbara and made her his fiancée.

At Mondo, Texas flying turned out not to be his cup of tea, so the Air Force sent him to Aircraft Maintenance School at Chanute AFB, Illinois. There he graduated as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer. They sent him to Hickam AFB in Honolulu, Hawaii.

His 2-year contract with the Air Force was up in 1957, so they placed him back into Reserve Status.

He was then able to marry Barbara in Phoenix at her Phoenix home. Their minister was her Uncle Dan Jordan a Navy Chaplin.

The marriage really took as it lasted 49 years. No children were produced.

They lived in Phoenix at first in a rented apartment at 24th St. and Wiletta. Next, they lived on University Dr.- Also a rented apartment in Mesa.

His working career consisted of primarily sales with 3 years at Graybar Electric, 9 years at Mesa Wholesale Electric, 15 years at Redmond Electric Supply, 7 years at Lenhart’s ACE Hardware.

Reserve LT. Gilpin got a surprise promotion to Captain and was being called up again for “The Bay of Pigs” war in Cuba in 1962 but it unwound before he had to go.

With his reserve commitment finally up, they had a house built in Mesa at 427 S. Ridge for $12,400.00 in 1965. They lived together there 41 years before her untimely death.

She died on November 30, 2006 of Stage 4 Lung Cancer. She never smoked a day in her life. He had Stage 2 Colon Cancer the same year but survived with surgery.


“Highlights of Harley’s Memory”

Became a singing square dance caller in college and was invited to call at all the dance clubs of Phoenix.

Meeting Elizabeth Taylor in 1946 at MGM Studio in Culver City, California while filming “National Velvet”.

Honeymooning in Las Vegas in 1957 and saw Nat King Cole Show for $2.00 each. Also, saw Harry Owens and his Royal Hawaiians for free.

Meeting Elvis Presley in 1968 at Apache Land while filming the movie “Charro”.

Being married to a perfect wife.

Meeting” Maverick”- James Garner in Phoenix in 1961.

P.S. Lasting marriages are “Made in Heaven”



Arrangements by Bunker’s University Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.





  • Janet and I send our condolences to Glenn’s family for their loss. We have known “Glenn” since 1970 when we moved in across the street from him and Barbara in 1970. Glenn and I both shared common interest in automobiles and the Air Force as I was on USAF active duty at the time. When I deployed to Vietnam in 1972 Glenn was there for my family when and if needed and that was much appreciated. During the past few years during some of his medical events I visited him often and brought him reading material and anything he needed. He was a lifelong friend and truly nice person from the “greatest generation”.

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