Gilbert, Joe Great laughter and an unquenchable zest for living died all too soon on March 17, 2013 with the sudden death of Joe Gilbert, 64, of Alba, TX. Memorial services will be held March 21, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. at Bluebonnet Hills Funeral Home, 5725 Colleyville Blvd., Colleyville, TX. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to an animal rescue or raptor shelter. Born on April 14, 1948 in Broken Arrow, OK, Joe graduated in 1966 from Nathan Hale High School in Tulsa, OK. He served two years of active service in the U.S. Navy at Sangley Point, Philippines and four years in reserves. Joe retired from American Airlines in 2005 after 36 years in passenger service at Boston, New York and DFW International. To know Joe was to love Joe. No person, child or animal was a stranger. His playful spirit included entertaining family and friends with vast pots of beans, chili, and fried catfish. Outlandish horseshoe-throwing tournaments attracted hundreds to his Grapevine home. His interests were as huge as his appetite for fun--from collecting antique tractors to enjoying blues and Texas country music bands. Joe's risk-taking side took him on great adventures here and abroad. He rode motorcycles fast, both street and off-road, from Colorado to Mexico. He was just as likely to hop on a donkey as to grab a rattlesnake by the hand. Joe's tender side bloomed each spring in his vegetable and flower gardens. "I just like to see things grow," he would say. And Joe maintained a menagerie of animals, including chickens and once a pig named Bacon that he paraded around. A man of strong passions and opinions, Joe loved his wife, children and grandchildren above all else. He passed away doing what he loved-fishing for catfish on Lake Fork with the woman he loved. His life will live on through organ donations made through Southwest Transplant Alliance. Joe is survived by wife Bonnie Gilbert of Alba, TX; daughters Brandi Tingley of Marietta, GA and Sarah Herrera of Oman in the Middle East; sons Joaquin Aslan of Bethesda, MD and Justin Gilbert of Durango, CO; stepson Jon Hopkins of Riva, MD; grandchildren Sophie Tingley, Liam Herrera, and Rhett and Kacey Hopkins; brother Jack Gilbert and father O.J. Gilbert, both of Austin, TX; and uncle Gene Gilbert of Broken Arrow, OK. Joe is also survived by his second love, Brooke, a two-year-old Schnauzer.
Published in Dallas Morning News on Mar. 20, 2013