William E. Gilbert / 1925-2009

Published 4:36 pm Friday, July 17, 2009

William E. Gilbert, 83, of Barron Lake Road, in Niles, died on Thursday, July 16, 2009, at 2:30 p.m. at his home following an illness.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 20, at Pokagon United Methodist Church in Niles with the Rev. Patricia Hass officiating.
Internment will be at Silverbrook Cemetery, Niles where military honors will be performed by the United States Marine Corp Honor Guard.
The family will receive relatives and friends from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 19, at Halbritter Funeral Home, Niles.
He was born on Dec. 27, 1925, in South Bend, Ind. to Donald R. and Bernice (Finn) Gilbert. He graduated from Niles High School in 1945 and was a lifetime resident of Niles.
He was a veteran of World War II, having served in the United States Marine Corps, where he earned the rank of corporal and was stationed in the South Pacific.
He retired in 1987 as a design engineer from Nationa-Standard Company in Niles. He later drove cars for eight years for Jordan Motors.
He was a member of Pokagon United Methodist Church in Niles. He was a charter member of the Howard Township Fire Department, where he served many years as its treasurer.
In 1968, he began serving as a reserve deputy with the Cass County Sheriff’s Department. He was active in volunteer work and was a community helper.
On May 10, 1947, in Berrien Springs, he first married Mary E. (Austin) Gilbert, who died on March 3, 1985.
Later, on June 14, 1986, he married Janie (Dempsey) Vanlue Gilbert, who survives.
Additional surviving family includes his children, Nancy (Dale) Chadderdon of Tecumseh, Linda (Dan) Gustafson of Saint Joseph, and Larry (Kolleen) Gilbert of Niles; grandchildren, Mary Kay (Allan) Brown of Schaumburg, Ill., Andrew Gustafson of Saint Joseph and Reanna (Scott) Lennox of Niles; great-grandchildren, Nathan Allan Brown, Trevor Scott Lennox and Jordan Lennox; step-children, Linda (Steve) Kujawa of Edwardsburg, Merri (John) Bagwell of Buchanan and Daniel (Pam) Vanlue of Niles; step-grandchildren, Julie (Mark) Williams, Melissa (Mike) Cook, Laurie Barnes,, Angela (Billy) Rocke, James Vanlue, Cody Kujawa, Brennden Keen, Rob Lewis, and Tiffany Lewis; step-great-grandchildren, Alexis Reagan, Tony Parris, Abby Parris, Garret Williams,, Carter Williams, Delainey Reagan, D. J. Bagwell, Eiva Vedia, Kaylin Rocke, Jora Barnes, James Barnes, Chase Rocke and Dustin Rocke.
He was preceded in death by his grandson, O’Rion Gilbert in 1992; step-son, Kenneth Vanlue; step-grandson, Sam Reagan and step-great-grandson, Parker Williams.
Memorial contributions may be made to Pokagon United Methodist Church or Hospice At Home, 4025 Health Park Lane, Saint Joseph, MI 49085.
Arrangements were by Halbritter Funeral Home, Niles.