Obituary: Gary Alan Fillmore Sept. 1, 1938 – Sept. 9, 2023

GARY ALAN FILLMORE Sept. 1, 1938 – Sept. 9, 2023

In the early afternoon of Saturday, September 9, 2023, Gary Alan Fillmore departed on his final trip to the West, chasing the sunset and leaving behind an adoring family and many, many friends grateful for a lifetime of laughter and shared adventures. Gary had recently celebrated his 85th birthday doing what he loved most, spending a warm San Diego afternoon surrounded by his family and friends.

Gary was a native of San Diego, California growing up in the neighborhood of Bay Park and forging life-long friendships there. The cars, music, and lifestyle of post-war Southern California left an indelible impression on him. In his later years he lived in Northern New Mexico, where he loved the smaller towns and his access to the mountains, lakes, and rivers, but he was regularly called back to the coast and his hometown of San Diego.

After graduating from Mission Bay High School, Gary served in the U.S. Air Force as a Crew Chief on B-36s and in the nation’s first B-52 squadron. After serving in the Air Force, he took an opportunity to work on NASA’s Apollo spaceflight program, including participating in the famous Christmas Eve reprogramming of the Apollo 8 flight computer, helping to complete mankind’s first voyage to the Moon. Gary’s early interest in digital computing led him to work at Computer Science Corporation and Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical in the early and mid-1970’s, and he went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in computer science at San Diego State University in 1977. He made the most of his degree and experience with a career ranging from being an early employee of Science Applications Incorporated (now SAIC) where he began as a corporate Computing Systems Manager and later performed project controls and management work for Air Force Ballistic Missile Programs, the Federal Aviation Administration, and at the Department of Energy National Laboratories where he was a practitioner and advocate for Cost/Schedule Control Systems Criteria and Earned Value Management Systems. He later worked with other companies such as Northrup Grumman / Logicon Inc., Humphreys & Associates, and Los Alamos Technical Associates.

As an entrepreneur, he formed PM tec, Inc. in 1990. Gary was a friend to all and he made treating employees like family one of the guiding principles of the company. In fact, Gary was a great proponent of nepotism and “friend-potism” as a company policy, with many family members and close friends working for the company over the years. Early employees of the company will remember events like company campouts at Heron Lake near Chama, NM, where Gary would be able to combine his love for the people around him with his love for the outdoors. Gary was always concerned with the well-being of those who worked for PM tec. At a time when nearly all project management contractors worked as independent contractors, he led the effort to bring company associates on as PM tec employees, so that the company could offer healthcare, vacation, and retirement benefits. He did this, not because of a potential business advantage, but because he believed that the people helping to build PM tec would be happier and better able to take care of their families with these benefits. His positivity and generosity were appreciated by all whose lives he touched. In 2010, after 20 years at the helm of the company, he appointed his son Jeffrey Fillmore to the position of President. He continued to serve in an advisory capacity as the Company’s Vice President and as an Advisory Council member until September of 2023, and continued to be the embodiment of the company’s most important guiding principle – “People First.”

Gary loved the outdoors and loved to travel. He was particularly fond of the Pacific Ocean and the mountains of the American West. Sometimes he’d make grand plans for a hunting trip to Idaho or Colorado, or a fishing trip to San Diego or Lake Havasu. Other times he’d just pick a direction or general destination and jump in his truck to travel the byways and side roads for no other reason than the joy of discovering something or someplace he hadn’t seen before. He and his wife Kathleen were also able to travel internationally several times visiting Central America, the British Isles, and Scandinavia. He was an expert at living in the moment and enjoying the people and places around him. His greatest avocation was collecting memories, and he left his mark with a smile and a laugh wherever he went.

Anyone who knew Gary knew what a kind, generous person he was. He cherished his friends and family above anything else and always made time for them. Gary’s grandson Stephen recently concluded a school report about Veterans with a statement about his Grandpa Gary that will resound to those who knew him as a fine epitaph… “My Grandfather is one of the nicest people that I know.”

Gary is preceded in death by his father Manson “Curt” Fillmore, his mother and her husband Alta and Dwayne Sprague, and his daughter Sandra. He is survived by his beloved wife Kathleen; his brother Terry, Terry’s wife Lynsey Auringer, and daughter Brenda Boley; and his cousin Harold “HR” Van Blake, and HR’s wife Carol, and cousin Vern and Vern’s wife Rhea. He was both a rock of stability and a moral guide star to his surviving children Cynthia, Shannon, and Jeffrey, who will endeavor to carry on his legacy. Gary happily welcomed his stepchildren Matthew and Jennifer into his life with equal love, and they will continue to reflect his influence. His grandchildren Sara, Meagan, Morgan, Heather, Stephen, and Samuel, and his great grandsons Remy and Rome, all put a smile on his face like nothing else. Gary warmly embraced Shannon’s husband Chris, Jeffrey’s wife Stephanie, Sara’s husband Daniel, Morgan’s husband Julio, and Matthew’s wife Katrina into the family with love. Gary will be remembered by his many friends around the country and around the world, of whom, he considered his extended family.

A memorial service will be held at Dearborn Memorial Park in Poway, CA at 11:00 on Friday, September 22nd, 2023. A memorial celebration is being planned for a later date in Santa Fe, NM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Coastal Conservation Association of California at in memory of Gary’s love of the ocean and the outdoors.

Pictures and/or personal memories can be shared with Gary’s family and friends by emailing them to

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