The world became a little bit colder as the Lord called home one of His most kind souls.
Though our loss and sadness is deep, it is greatly offset by the experience of the lucky few who were blessed with him in his life. Anyone who had the luck to call him family or friend is a better person because of it. Our loss is Heavens gain, and we can all take comfort in the absolute knowledge that we will meet again in the House of the Lord.
Edward Charles Gilbert went home on Saturday, February 9, after a sudden, drastic decline in health which he fought enough to be able to say goodbye to his children, who all were there as he left for the next life. He will leave a void in all who knew him and more so, he'll leave wonderful memories that will last the rest of our lives.
Edward was born on August 20, 1942 to Edward M. Gilbert and Sadie F. (Lake) Gilbert in Madison, Wisconsin. He was a lifelong resident of the Madison area until 2010 when he moved to Pewaukee, Wisconsin to be nearer his daughter, Sherri Lynn, and resided at River Hills West nursing home till the time of his passing.
Ed graduated from Madison East High School in 1960. He excelled in many sports and was an awarded, accomplished gymnast during high school, placing first in many events. After high school he went to work for A.J. Sweet Company till its closure and then worked till his retirement in 2005.
He married Dorothy Cunningham in 1962. They later divorced. Together they had four wonderful children, though one was taken suddenly from at the early age of 21. Ed was an exceptional worker who took pride in a job well done but his true passion was to play as hard as he worked and was never happier then when he was playing with his children. Ed enjoyed fishing and camping and was a tournament level bowler, with several 300 games to his credit and a fantastic softball player for many years. He would take his kids along at any given chance. In many ways, he never lost the innocence of childhood which made him a kind, happy adult with no idea what malice even was. He was the rare individual that never talked mean, had enemies, or held a grudge. He simply didn't understand why anyone would. It was his selflessness that caused him to hang on to say his goodbyes, which itself is amazing, but even more so because this wonderful man who lived life with such joy. He instilled these traits in his children and they will live on in them, and I can think of no finer legacy than that. If he had one fault, he turned at least one daughter into a fanatical, lunatic Packer fan. In Wisconsin, most consider this a awesome achievement. Either way, it's fun for anyone to watch when she's in action, football fan or not? Ed needed one channel, ESPN. His love of all sports stayed with him his entire life as it will with his children. He may have not been materialistically wealthy, but he had the largest portfolio of warmth and kindness of any man we've ever met. There were no close seconds.
Ed was preceded in death by his parents, Edward M. and Sadie (Lake) Gilbert and his son, Virgil Edward Gilbert, just before Virgil's 22nd birthday.
He is survived by three children, Sherri (Ben) Thums, Charles "Chuck" Gilbert and Kelly (Chris) Rios; two sisters, Beverly (Pat) Boycon and Donna Hevsfall; two brothers, his twin, Eugene (Barb) Gilbert and Gerald "Jerry" (Sandy) Gilbert; 8 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the staff at Aurora Summit in Oconomowoc, the staff at River Hills West and the staff at Home and Hospice Advantage. A special thank you to James Jensen, Ed's roommate and close friend for the last several years. You put him at ease, showed him the ropes, and we will forever be grateful. Thank you, Jim. Ed considered you an exceptional friend.
Funeral services will be held at Cress Funeral Home, 3325 E. Washington Ave., Madison WI on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 1:00 PM. A visitation will also be held at the funeral home on Thursday from 10:00 AM until the time of service. Interment will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park Chapel, 601 East Broadway, Monona, WI at 2:00 PM. There will be a luncheon immediately after the chapel service at the Community Center in Madison.