Norbert H. Gilbert, 90
Norbert H. Gilbert age 90 of Plainfield, IA, died Sunday, April 26, 2020, at the Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community in Waverly, IA.
A Memorial Mass will be held at a later date. Please leave online condolences to support the Gilbert Family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to a church of your choice.
Norbert Henry Gilbert was born on the Fourth of July in 1929 on a farm near North Washington, Iowa. He was the third child of seven born to Henry and Amalia (Glaser) Gilbert.
Norbert was a child of the Great Depression, and he learned the value of hard work at an early age. In addition to helping his parents on their farm, he drove truck alongside his father at the age of 12 to build roads in Chickasaw County.
He attended North Washington Catholic School through the eighth grade, but like many in that era, he was needed on the farm and didn’t attend high school.
Maybe the best decision Norb ever made was to go to a dance in Charles City one evening in the late 1940s, for it was there that he met June Townsend, who worked in the restaurant downstairs from the dance. They began dating, fell in love, and exchanged vows on April 25, 1950, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Charles City. It was the beginning of a beautiful marriage that lasted 70 years and one day.
The couple began married life on a farm near New Hampton, moved to the Plainfield area five years later, and then moved to the Horton area in 1980. Along the way, Norb and June raised 13 children, who remember their father as a hard worker, a man of deep faith, and a person who welcomed everyone to his home.
In the beginning, Norb worked at several factories before he started farming in the New Hampton area and later moved to a farm near Plainfield where he farmed and milked cows. His father-in-law trained him in Building moving and while farming and milking cows he started his own building moving/straightening business. Alongside all of that he owned a sawmill. He retired in 2002.
When one has a milking operation, vacations are limited, but the Gilbert children appreciated that their dad was supportive of them and loved spending time with him.
He loved playing cards — anything from Euchre to 500 to Up and Down the River, just to name a few — and he taught his kids and grandchildren all the games.
The “I do’s” Norbert and June said on April 25, 1950, produced a long line of Gilberts. The couple’s 13 children — “we had enough kids for a ballgame,” the Gilbert kids will tell you — gave Norb and June 33 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.
As good a father as Norbert was, he was an even better grandfather. If he could get to a grandchild’s game or concert and make it home that night, he never missed an opportunity to support them.
Norbert was one of those people who never met a stranger, and he’d give you the proverbial shirt off his back. He could fix just about anything and was generous with his time when it came to his friends and neighbors.
He remained a man of deep Catholic faith throughout his life, and his family meant everything to him.
His children put it best when they said, “Family was everything, and June, his wife, was his life.”
And although they are saddened to bid their father, their grandfather, their great-grandfather, and their great-great-grandfather farewell to this life, they are grateful that this remarkable, hard-working man was such a huge part of their lives.
Norbert is survived by his wife of 70 years June Gilbert of Waverly, IA; seven sons, Michael Gilbert of Westlake, OH, Randy (Jan) Gilbert of Floyd, IA, Don (Barb) Gilbert of Waverly, IA, Kevin (Kendra) Gilbert of Ionia, IA, Wayne (Joy) Gilbert of Tripoli, IA, Duane (Elda) Gilbert of Clarksville, IA, Rich (Rhonda) Gilbert of Tripoli, IA; five daughters, Peg (Gene) Saienga of Round Rock, TX, Barb Albrecht of Oregon, WI, LeAnne (Duane Baker) Gilbert of San Salvador, El Salvador, Lori (Steve) Gee of Independence, IA, Brenda Gilbert of Brookefield, WI; Amy Platte’s Husband, John Platte; 33 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great-grandchildren; one brother Harry (Pat) Gilbert of New Hampton, IA.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Alvin (Pat) Gilbert, four sisters, Mary Ann (Pat) Skeleton, Agnes (Virgil) Lentz, Marciele (Herb) Christoph, Doris (Louie) Haskovec; daughter, Amy Platte; two daughters-in-law, Mary Gilbert, and Beva Gilbert.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to a church of your choice.