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Vance E. Gildersleeve of Poteau departed this life on July 23, 2012, and transitioned into the arms of our Savior Jesus Christ.
He was born in Stewartsville, Minn., on May 22, 1919, to Leslie and Ethel (Proctor) Gildersleeve. He was baptized April 10, 1955, into the Christian faith at the First Baptist Church of Redwood City, Calif., by Pastor Rowland T. Edgeworth and later affirmed his baptismal faith in the Zion Lutheran Church of Santa Rosa, Calif., on April 30, 1967. He was an elder with Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fort Smith, Ark.
Vance graduated from Tahoka High School May 28, 1937, in Tahoka, Texas, and attended Port Arthur Radio College. He was a retired radio broadcast engineer with Ampex Corp. and a flight radio officer with Pan American Airlines. Communication over the radio lasted for the better part of 75 years as he was an avid ham radio operator, K5CF.
Vance was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara; his parents; and brothers, Dwaine and Dale.
He is survived by a daughter, Vancine Clanton of Red Bluff, Calif.; son, Ronald Gildersleeve and wife, Shirley, of Desoto, Texas; stepchildren, Jim Wiegand and wife, Jeannette, of Auburn, Wash., Joan Mize and husband, Glenn, of Poteau, Niel Wiegand and wife, Beth, of Rochester, Minn.; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; seven step-grandchildren; and 11 step-great-grandchildren. He also had many nieces and nephews.
The family will hold a memorial service for Vance at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fort Smith, with Rev. John Treude officiating. Burial will be at 3:30 p.m. at Oakland Cemetery.
Cremation is under the direction of Grace Manor Funeral Home, Poteau.