James Gilpatric

James F. "Digger" Gilpatric

Monday, May 27th, 1929 - Saturday, January 12th, 2019
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James Francis “Digger” Gilpatric, 89, a lifelong Kingston resident, and one of Kingston’s longest-serving morticians, passed away in the comforting presence of his wife, on Saturday, January 12, 2019.

A native of Kingston, he was the son of the late Ralph and Marie (Murphy) Gilpatric. Jimmy was a graduate of Kingston High School Class of 1946, attended Siena College from 1947-49, was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, graduated from the Renouard School for Embalmers (at Bellevue Hospital, NYC) June 1950, and earned his NYS License to Practice Funeral Directing on July 17, 1951.

In 1950, Jimmy joined his grandfather’s funeral firm, the James M. Murphy Funeral Home. Following the death of his grandfather, Jimmy took over as owner and funeral director of the firm in 1954. In 1972, Jimmy marked the 100th anniversary of his funeral home with a change of name and plans for expansion, revealing that the four-generation family firm would be renamed the Gilpatric-Murphy Funeral Home. In 2009, the funeral home business was sold and renamed the Gilpatric-VanVliet Funeral Home, and eventually moved to Ulster Park in the Town of Esopus in 2012. Jimmy continued as an adviser and mentor to the firm’s new owner, funeral director Harry VanVliet IV. In his more than 60 years as funeral director, Jimmy was witness to many changes in the funeral profession.

Jimmy was a former Ulster County Legislator, a past Commander of Kingston American Legion Post 150, a member of Kingston Council 275 Knights of Columbus 4th Degree, a longtime faithful parishioner of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church and a member of its Holy Name Society, a past member of Kingston Ancient Order of Hibernians where he was also recognized as 2003 Mayor of the Day, a member for 25 years of Kingston Babe Ruth Baseball League where, as an original founder,he served as its first president. He was also a past member of NYS Football & Baseball Officials, a past 45 year member of Kingston Kiwanis Club, and a longtime member of Twaalfskill Golf Club.

Jimmy will be remembered for his quick wit, his Irish charm, and his laid back personality. He had two speeds, slow and slower, which allowed him to sit back, relax, enjoy life and its people as it unfolded before him. Jimmy ALWAYS had a smile on his face, a twinkle in his eye, and a joke to share. He dearly loved his hometown Kingston. He also loved his time spent in Cape Cod & Ireland, as well as his hand rolled cigars from Bach Factory Cigars on Wilbur Avenue, the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Mets, the Red Sox and anyone who beat the Yankees. He was famous at Giants Stadium where he led his season ticket section in cheers and was proud of the drinks he shared with Joe “Willie” Namath the night before Super Bowl III. Jimmy worried about little, was loved by many, and will be dearly missed by each and every one of his family members and friends.

He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Roslie (Parmenter) Gilpatric, his son, Hon. James P. Gilpatric, and his wife Elizabeth, of Kingston, three daughters, Mary Ellen “Mimi” Croswell, and her husband Dennis, of Kingston, Patricia Gilpatric, of Kingston, and Christine Gilpatric Fiore of Tennessee, three stepsons, Joseph Schabot and his wife Michele, of Apex NC, Steven Schabot, and his wife Lynn, of Kingston, and Craig Parmenter, of Glendale CA, and one stepdaughter, Amy Ryan, and her husband Robert, of Hurley. Jim is also survived by his 13 grandchildren, Michael and Matthew Croswell, Lucas Hopper, Jamie Gilpatric Nichols, Andrew Gilpatric, Zach and Scott Schabot, Dalienne Niles, Jason Schabot, Cailin, Micaela, Bobby and Cian (“Chico”) Ryan, and 10 great grandchildren.

He is predeceased by his former wives, Jeanne McCutcheon and Joan Eckert Schabot, his beloved aunt, Eleanor Murphy Bruhn and his beloved stepfather Andrew Cherny.

Jimmy’s family is extremely grateful for the comfort and care he received while at TenBroeck Commons/Center.

Jimmy will lie in repose at the Gilpatric-VanVliet Funeral Home, 339 Broadway, Ulster Park, Town of Esopus, where the Gilpatric Family will receive friends on Friday, January 18th, 2019, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

The funeral procession will form 9:00 am Saturday, January 19, 2019 from the funeral home, thence to St. Mary's Church where The Mass of Christian Burial will be sung at 10 o’clock, The Rev. Father Edmund Burke will officiate. Entombment at Wiltwyck Community Mausoleum, with military honors by Joyce-Schirick VFW Post 1386 Honor Guard, will follow.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers contributions be made in Jimmy’s memory to: Center for Spectrum Service, 70 Kukuk Lane, Kingston NY 12401 (formally known as the Children’s Annex) or a charity of your choice.
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Memorial Program

We have provided a digital copy (PDF) of the Memorial Program that we supply at the time of the service. To Download this file please click the filename below. James F. "Digger" Gilpatric - Memorial Program

Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, January 18th, 2019 | 3:00pm - 7:00pm
    Friday, January 18th, 2019 3:00pm - 7:00pm
    Gilpatric-VanVliet Funeral Home
    339 Broadway
    Ulster Park, NY 12487
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Saturday, January 19th, 2019 | 10:00am
    Saturday, January 19th, 2019 10:00am
    St. Mary's Church
    160 Broadway
    Kingston, NY 12401
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Edmund Burke
    Rev. William Scafidi
    Rev. Daniel Maichiki
  • Interment

    Saturday, January 19th, 2019 |
    Saturday, January 19th, 2019
    Wiltwyck Community Mausoleum
    145 Pine Grove Avenue
    Kingston, NY 12401
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


  • American
  • American Legion
  • Ancient Order of Hibernians
  • Crucifix
  • Holy Name Society
  • Kiwanis International
  • Knights of Columbus 4th Degree
  • Siena College
  • US Air Force


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Private Condolence
From Michele VanKleeck &Family and John Brandow Jr, Alfred, Michael and Alex Mainetti, and other have sent flowers to the family of James F. "Digger" Gilpatric.
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Karen MaddenDreiser

Posted at 08:00pm
Patti, Mimi and Family, I know you were the loves of DIGGERS life! Such amazing daughter's who loved their Dad dearly! Digger had a wonderful life, beautiful family and amazing friends. I am sure my Parents met him at Heavens Door and Pops had his favorite drink ready for him. God bless you all. xoxo

Terry ingsssia

Posted at 12:29pm
My Condolences Rose, Mimi And the entire Gilpatrick family. I am so sorry for your loss Jim was a great man. He always had a smile and Quick funny answers I will miss him very much . I know you all have great memories that will get you through this family friends and Jesus will always be there for you rest in peace my friend

Posted at 09:06pm
My friend and mentor is gone but he will always be with us. The "Dig" always had the biggest smile and it will now light up heaven.
To all of Jim's family know he is at peace and was loved by many. You are in our prayers.
Dennis & Louise Howard

From Michele VanKleeck &Family and John Brandow Jr

Posted at 07:46pm
Sending condolences ,may all your treasured memories help you through this heartbreaking time
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From Michele VanKleeck &Family and John Brandow Jr purchased the Medium Dish Garden for the family of James F. "Digger" Gilpatric. Send Flowers


Ron Smith

Posted at 07:18pm
The Gilpatric family, My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Jimmy was quit a guy. When I would deliver to funeral home on Broadway I could expect to be there about a half hour talking and him telling some jokes. God bless you all.Heaven will never be the same. Ron Smith Orchid Shoppe Florist

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