CASTLE POINT – Former
Congressman Benjamin Gilman died Saturday morning. He was 94. (Read
For the last number of years, he was living at the Castle Point veterans’
hospital near Beacon. He had been in declining health following surgery
to repair a damaged hip.
A former chairman of the House Committee on International Relations during
the 1990s, the Republican served under seven presidents during a 30-year
term that ran from 1973 to 2003.
Several months ago, Gilman joined with local officials
and his wife, Georgia, to dedicate a Town of
Wallkill road in his honor
At a Memorial Day service at Castle Point in May 2014
He was known for his strong commitment to upholding human rights, his
efforts on behalf of the hungry and malnourished, his support for the
state of Israel, and his dedication to fight the problems of international
In this 1977 photo, Gilman (left) met with two other
political giants, Rep. Hamilton Fish, Jr. (right),
and his father, former Congressman
Hamilton Fish, Sr.
He was a highly-decorated veteran of the Army Air Corps during World
War II and was a proponent of a strong national defense.
Gilman was born in Poughkeepsie in 1922 and graduated from Middletown
High School, received his B.S. from the Wharton School of the University
of Pennsylvania in 1946, and his LL.B. from New York Law School in 1950.
State Senator William Larkin (R, Cornwall-on-Hudson) said the community
“lost a pillar of our community, a war veteran, a public servant
whose record is unmatched and for many of us a good friend.” Larkin
said Gilman’s “life is one that will be remembers and celebrated
for generations to come.”
State Assemblyman Karl Brabenec (R, Westbrookville) interned for Gilman.
Brabenec said Gilman “have me my first opportunity to learn so many
great things about politics and most importantly public service. I have
never forgotten the lessons he taught me.”
State Assemblyman James Skoufis (D, Woodbury) said Gilman’s “legacy
lives on through the countless people whose lives he touched.”
Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus said Gilman “was a true gentleman
and a role model for how elected officials should conduct themselves and
Gilman is survived by his wife, Georgia, his son Jonathan and his wife
Monica, son Harrison and daughter Susan, Nicole Pappas and her husband
Nicholas and Peter Tingus and his wife Jody.
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