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Alan Joseph Gilbert
Alan Joseph Gilbert, beloved husband, father and brother, died Aug. 7, 2014 in Fort Collins, Colo. at the age of 87 after a long illness.
Joe was born on Aug. 23, 1926 in Morris, Okla. to Mary L. Cooper Gilbert and Frank Garrett Gilbert. He joined the U.S. Army in November, 1943, and served for three years as a field medical technician attaining the rank of corporal. After his discharge at Camp Beale Joe stayed in California where he met and married Beverly Jean Garren on Feb. 4, 1949 in San Gabriel. Joe was a talented artist and briefly attended art school until financial concerns led him to take a position at the California Edison Company, working first as a lineman in Los Angeles, and then as a supervisor in the high desert town of Bishop. Joe loved Bishop; he and his wife Beverly lived there for more than 40 years and are remembered fondly by many friends and neighbors.
After retiring from the Edison Company in 1987, Joe enjoyed his time gardening and cooking out with his wife and friends at the many beautiful camping spots in the Inyo Valley. He loved to read and was a self-taught expert on the Civil War. He also enjoyed playing golf, and once shot a hole-in-one in the Bishop Golf Course. Although Joe was happiest in Bishop, he loved his children and would travel with Bev to the different spots where their kids landed including New Orleans, New York City, Washington, DC and San Diego. They also cruised to Alaska, vacationed in Hawaii (to try out the golf courses), and traveled overseas (despite Joeâ€™s distrust of flying) to England, Italy and Switzerland.
Joe was a long-time member of the Elks Lodge and spent many happy Friday evenings with Bev at the lodge having dinner with friends. Joe was very friendly and easy-going, liked to tell jokes and could talk to anyone. He loved the Sierra Nevada mountains surrounding Bishop, whether he was hiking or fishing, or in a helicopter patrolling the power lines. Joe backpacked and camped with his children in the John Muir Wilderness, leaving them with a life-long love of the mountains.
From humble beginnings he became a much respected and deeply beloved father, husband, colleague and community member. His children remember him as a baseball coach for his sonâ€™s middle league team, a Cub Scout leader, a frequent rescuer when their junkers broke down on U.S. Highway 395, a concerned father who hiked through thunderstorms to check on his ranger daughter and a driver that braved a snow storm for a daughterâ€™s college tour. He worked hard his entire life, supporting his family and encouraging his children to be the first to go to college.
In 2011 Joe and Bev moved to Fort Collins, Colo., to be closer to their daughter Michelle and her family.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Beverly; and his children, Clifford Gilbert of San Diego and his daughter, Alishia Gilbert; Kathleen Gilbert of Little Rock, Ark. and her daughter Sarah Gilbert; and Michelle Gilbert of Fort Collins, Colo., and her husband, Jeff Albright and their daughter, Sophie Albright. Joe is also survived by his brothers, Raymond Lescault of West Virginia and Donald Gilbert of Texas. Both remember him as a loving and fiercely protective older brother. He will be greatly missed by so many.
A private memorial observance will be held for family members in Fort Collins in September. All of Joeâ€™s family members would like to sincerely thank the wonderfully friendly, kind and caring staff of the Lemay Health and Rehabilitation Center in Fort Collins, Colo.