Larry Gilbert peacefully passed away Thursday, July 11, 2013, in Houston, Texas surrounded by his loving family. Larry was born December 17, 1920 and was a resident of Houston for the majority of his life. He married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Irene White Gilbert and they were married for 56 years before her passing in 1997.|
Larry Gilbert was a Captain in the Army Air Force and a B-17 Bomber Pilot. He also served as a Squadron Commander in WWII and he flew 42 sorties all over Europe during 1943-45. The B17 was nicknamed the "flying coffin" and despite having his aircraft shot up on a number of occasions, he and all of his crew members survived the war.
Incidentally, although he was, he never thought of himself as being a decorated war hero. Throughout his life, very few people knew of his heroics because he never talked about his war experiences unless you directly asked him about it. Sadly, we don't hear of many like him anymore.
Larry had the pleasure of having multiple successful careers after the war. He was a news photographer with the Houston Chronicle and Houston Post with award winning photos; several of which appeared in LIFE Magazine in the 1950's. He moved on to become the Sales Manager and Corporate pilot at a local Houston company for several years before moving the family to New Orleans in 1962-1970 to be the Director of Sales for Louisiana Industries. He returned to Houston in 1970 to start up a new company and subsequently ran a real estate related business up until his retirement in 1986.
Larry's hobbies included golfing, traveling, dancing, history and reading. He was a kind, generous and loving father and friend to so many. Larry never met a stranger and his sense of humor, his warm, kind spirit and his positive attitude toward life will be remembered and cherished by all who knew him.
Larry is survived by his three daughters, Karen Rae Gilbert from San Rafael, California, JoAnn Gilbert Ziifle from Houston, and Terri Lynne Gilbert Pallas from Houston and his three grandchildren, Timothy Ziifle, Jr., Kacey King, and Alexandra Pallas. He is also survived by his two sisters, Joyce Gilbert Allen Lynn of Houston and LaVerne Gilbert Stubbs of New Boston, TX
At Larry's request, his ashes will be buried at the Veterans Houston National Cemetery on July 24th. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the
Published in Houston Chronicle on July 21, 2013