It is with
great regret and sorrow that I must inform you of the death of our Classmate,
Nick Gilbert, on February 24, 2021 in Berthoud, CO after a long illness.
survived by his wife, Virginia (Ginny); their daughters, Kathleen Banister and
Karyn Reed; their sons, Glenn and his wife, Kelly, and Dwight and his wife,
Patty; and grandchildren, Ryan Banister, Rachel Banister, Myles Reed, Sabrina
Reed, Brayden Gilbert, Alexa Gilbert, Megan Gilbert, and Andrew Gilbert.
Nick will be buried
at Estes Valley Memorial Gardens, Estes Park, CO at a date to be determined
be sent to Ginny at 1875 Fall River Drive, Apt. 301, Loveland, CO 80538.
In lieu of
flowers, contributions in Nick's memory may be made to Bristol Hospice Northern
Colorado, 1605 Foxtrail Drive, STE 200, Loveland, CO 80538.
Well done,Nick. Be thou at peace.
Class Memorial Pages\G-1 Nick Gilbert.pdf
Obituary for Nicholas Charles Gilbert
Nicholas Charles Gilbert of Loveland, Colorado passed away on February 24 at the
age of 81. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Virginia Gilbert, daughters
Kathleen Banister and Karyn Jensen, sons Glenn Gilbert (Kelly)and Dwight Gilbert
(Patty), and grandchildren Myles, Sabrina, Ryan, Rachel, Brayden, Megan, Alexa
and Andrew, all residents of northern Colorado.
Born in Manhattan, New York in 1939, Nick and his sisters Mabel (Freeman) and
Charlene (O’Donnell) were raised in Merion Station, Pennsylvania by his mother,
Kirsten Gilbert and his adopted father, Charles Gilbert (both deceased). Nick
could speak for hours about the exploits of he and his childhood friends,
lovingly referred to as “Little” Dickie, “Little” Johnny and “Little” Freddy
(last names omitted to protect the innocent) and his high school job as an usher
at a posh Philadelphia movie theater, where he developed a passion for film
while making sure that the guests behaved themselves. An exceptional student and
athlete in high school and beyond, Nick’s strong desire to serve and protect our
nation led him to the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York,
where he continued to play lacrosse and football during his time as a cadet.
Upon graduating as a second lieutenant in 1961, Nick commenced eight years of
service as an infantryman in the United States Army. Not satisfied with just one
life change, Nick and Ginny were married in Fruitport, Michigan in December of
the same year. As a Green Beret, he fought through the horrors of face-to-face
combat during two tours in Vietnam and experienced the extreme tensions at the
height of the Cold War first-hand while stationed in Germany. Nick was reluctant
to share his wartime experiences with his family, choosing to shield them from
sights that could not be unseen, but tough as he certainly was, there is no
question that these events had an unmistakable impact on his life. Despite these
trials, his devotion to the United States was never shaken. Some of his last
words were a repeated prayer of “God bless America.” Nick resigned from military
service in 1969, honorably discharged with the rank of Major.
In 1977, the call of the mountains proved irresistible, and the Gilbert family
moved from Ohio to Longmont, Colorado. Nick served an active role in his
children’s education, speaking out against school overcrowding issues,
organizing and running the elementary school bicycle rodeo, coaching youth
soccer teams, and even serving as a zombie at the school haunted house. He made
sure that all the kids learned to ski, hauling Kathleen and Karyn up to Eldora
after work for night skiing and patiently waiting around the lodge at Hidden
Valley while Glenn and Dwight hit the slopes, even though his body never allowed
him to participate himself. The mountains were a constant source of refuge, with
as much time as possible devoted to exploring the high country. Finally, after
years of weekly trips to Rocky Mountain National Park, the family resettled in
Estes Park in 1985, even though it meant a two-hour commute (each way) to his
work as a computer systems analyst in downtown Denver. Estes Park is a place
that Nick loved and called home for the next 21 years.
Even as severe pain from the accumulated injuries and ailments resulting from a
life of contact sports, airborne infantry service and combat left him physically
unable to work full time, Nick continued to be as active as possible, coaching
the line for the Estes Park High School football team in 1991 and 1992,
including a surprising playoff run in his last year. In 2006, Nick and Ginny
moved down to Loveland, Colorado, where they lived in their home at the base of
the foothills until this year. Always a gracious host, Nick always laid out an
impressive array of snacks and treats when the family would gather to celebrate
birthdays and holidays.
A celebration of Nick’s life will be held in Estes Park, Colorado as soon as it
becomes feasible for family and friends to gather safely without the
encumbrances of Covid-19. The family wishes to thank all those who have shared
their love and support. Despite the many physical trials he suffered over the
course of his life, Nick always maintained a generous spirit with great empathy
for those around him, never hesitating to place the needs of others ahead of his
own. In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Nick’s memory through a
donation to a humanitarian cause.