Published 4:11 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Funeral Services for Leroy Gilbert, age 88 of Carriere, MS, who passed away Sunday, December 14, 2014, will be held Wednesday, December 17, 2014, at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church of Picayune, and also Friday, December 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm at Beaty Funeral Home, 816 West Broadway Street, Winnsboro, TX.
Visitation will be Wednesday, December 17, 2014 from 9:00 am until 11:00 am at First Baptist Church of Picayune, and also Friday, December 19, 2014 from 1:00 pm until 2:00 pm at Beaty Funeral Home.
Burial will be in Bethel Cemetery, CR 4350, off FM 1448, Southern Franklin County, TX, following the funeral service at 2:00 pm.
Rev. Ken Walters will officiate both services, and will be assisted by Dr. Keith Warden in Picayune, MS.
Local arrangements are under the direction of McDonald Funeral Home. Winnsboro, TX arrangements are under the direction of Beaty Funeral Home.
Leroy Gilbert was born in rural East Texas on May 22, 1926, the sixth of seven children of Ada and Lester Gilbert. From an early age he loved learning. He excelled in High School and was the first in his family to earn a college degree, attaining both a Baccalaureate and Masters Degree. He was a veteran of World War II and was in basic training when the Japanese surrendered.
He attained the rank of Master Sergeant in the army and was trained as a medic. He spent most of his service in the Philipines and was encouraged by his superiors to apply for Officer Training School. Instead, he returned to United States and married Carrie Lee Rhoades, a loving union that lasted 65 years until the her death almost two years ago. He is the Father of Danny Leroy, Leslie Carroll, Larry Robert, Karen Marlene, and Sharon Lee. He is now becoming acquainted with his daughter Connie Lynn, their first daughter, who was stillborn.
After planning to pursue a career in education, he shifted directions to aeronautics and aerospace, at least in part to gain better health insurance benefits for his son Danny, who had polio. Four out of five marriages that have special needs children end in divorce. This marriage withstood that and the challenge of losing an infant demonstrating the faith and strength of them both.
His career took him across the country from Texas, to Colorado, to Kansas, back to Colorado and ultimately to Mississippi in 1965. Even then, his travels were not over as he worked in New Orleans, Seattle, Wichita, and the Dallas area long after most people would have retired.
His work did not cease as he was actively involved with his grandchildren and great grandchildren, frequently and actively, as well as assisting in their care as their parents pursued their education and careers. He was generous with his time for his descendants and the Bank of Gilbert was always open with very liberal terms. He was a friend and mentor to numerous members of his community. He was also active his entire life in obedience to his Savior Jesus serving in just about every capacity of the Church except President of the Women’s Missionary Union. This work included leadership roles as Chairman of the Deacons, Sunday School Superintendent, and work as an attendant with the bed babies in the Church Nursery.
His greatest joy was his family. He supported his wife when she returned to school to obtain her nursing degree. He spent innumerable hours engaged in activities with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He lavished his time on his descendants not only supporting them at sporting events and at other times when they were performing publicly, but privately and intimately as well. He never wavered in his support for those he loved. He loved to tell and hear a good joke, and had a wonderful memory which led to many entertaining stories about his life growing up.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Lester and Ada Gilbert, his two brothers, Leon and Deward Gilbert, and two sisters, Ellie Fay Sutton and Juanez Knight. He is survived by a sister, Maxine (Gene) Boshart. He had a Sister who died in infancy. He is also survived by his three sons, Danny Leroy, Les (Eleanor), and Larry (Trina) Gilbert; his two daughters, Karen (Mark) Hennes, and Sharon Gilbert; six grandchildren, Kristen (Matt) Mertins, Joshua Gilbert, Michael (Jenny) Hennes, Jessica (Lee) Rigdon, Patricia (Daren) Rodriguez and Jacob (Lauren) Hennes; eight great grandchildren, Kallista and Kade Mertins; Jaren Rigdon; Karlee, Ryder, Ransom, and Kinzlee Rodriguez, and Carrigan Lee Hennes.
Leroy went to be with his Savior on December 14, 2014 at his home in Carriere. He spent his last days surrounded by his family, playing cards and swapping jokes. He has left a rich legacy of love and faith for his family and friends who are rejoicing for him while grieving his loss.
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