Born: Dec. 11, 1915 in Lampasas, Texas
Died: Oct. 30, 1998, of heart failure at Arcadia Methodist Hospital near Santa Anita. He was survived by his wife Margaret, sons George, Harry "Hap," and Tom, daughters Barbara Bomar and Mari Jo Holloway. Margaret passed away on June 18, 2006.
Background: In the late 1930s rode on the bush tracks in Texas and Louisiana. Also served on a starting gate crew and as a jockey agent. In 1953, Margaret and Willard moved Gilmer to manage a thoroughbred training facility. From there it was on to California in 1955 where he trained for Leonard Lavin's Glen Hill Farm for 30 years, a post later taken over by son Tom. Tom also trains for Glen Hill in the Midwest and South; Hap manages the Glen Hill Farm property in Ocala, Fla.
First winner: Odessa Boy at Fair Grounds in 1933
Best horses trained: Proctor had 58 stakes winners in his career from such stars as Gallant Romeo, Table Hands, Carload (sixth in the 1986 Breeders' Cup Sprint), Conveniently (dam of Concept Win and Major Impact), Lovlier Linda (dam of Old Trieste), Convenience, Summer Time Guy, Belle O'Reason, Star of the Crop, Major Impact, Palmistry, Tampa Trouble, Header Card, The Carpenter, Shelf Talker and his only other Breeders' Cup starter, Top Rung, who was seventh in the 1995 Distaff.
Mentor to many of today's successful trainers, including Mike Mitchell and Dan Hendricks
Inducted into the Texas Hall of Fame in 2003