Donald Gordon Gilbar, Sr. known also to many as “Don” or “Gilly”, was born in Richford, VT to Alida and Ellsworth Gordon on July 17, 1934. He went to be with the Lord and embraced by loved ones that had gone before on April 18, 2021.
Don spent his youth in Vermont with his two brothers and three sisters. At the age of 15, he saved his father’s life when a ditch caved in. He married at the age of 19 and helped to raise his children both in Vermont and Massachusetts. In 1987, by a turn of fate, he met his beautiful wife, Jean. He proposed and they were married July 16, 1988.
Don had always been a man of faith, which he carried with him throughout his life, especially during the loss of his son, Kenny, at a young age. His introduction to knowing about Jesus was all due to a woman he truly admired, Mrs. Thayer. He credited her to turning him to the path of righteousness. He attended church faithfully and was a member of Salem United Methodist Church in Havana, FL.
Don had a love of music and was musically inclined himself, whether it was strumming on the guitar, singing hymns or country songs and was forever whistling a happy tune. He was also a devoted family man. He loved his children, Dan, Kenny, Michael, Donna, Bob, Tracy and Tom immensely and would always tell them how proud he was of them. He loved his daughters-in-law, sons-in-law and step-daughter as if they were his own and always had a hug or smile. His smile would light up the room when he saw his family, including any of his 21 grand-children and 21 great-grandchildren.
He was a man with a strong work ethic that was passed along to his children. His first job was at the Veneer Mill in Newport, VT. He worked at Burgeron Co., NEI, Digital Equipment Corp, Racal Milgo (which moved him to Florida), and NRT as a quality engineer. He was proud of his work and also in becoming a 3rd degree Mason.
Don never met a stranger. He was quick to smile and give a hand-shake. He had a good sense-of-humor and enjoyed the love of animals. He and his wife, Jean, fostered dozens of cats on their property in Havana for the Gadsden County Humane Society.
Even at the end of his battle with Alzheimer’s, there were glimpses of his true kindness and amazing smile. He will be missed more than any words can say.
He is survived by his spouse, Jean Gilbar; his children, Donald Gilbar, Jr. (Danny) and wife Stacy; Michael Gilbar and wife Ileen; Donna Reese; Robert Gilbar, and wife Dorothy; Tracy Hulbert and husband, Daniel; Thomas Gilbar, and wife Annie; step-daughter, Sheila Cavanaugh and husband Shannon; brother Bruce Gilbar and wife Evelyn; brother Cedric Gilbar and wife, Beverly; and sister Carolyn Farrer. Also 21 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Alida and Ellsworth Gordon Gilbar; son Kenneth Gilbar; sisters Elizabeth Jacobs and Shirley Carter; and son-in-law, Craig Reese.
In honor of his memory, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Gadsden County Humane Society.
The Alzheimer's Association - https://www.alz.org/
The Humane Society - https://www.humanesociety.org/
Bible passages: Philippians 4:4-8; 1 Corinthians 13:4-13; Psalm 23
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