Elbert Edmund (Gil) Gilbertson
1928 - 2014
Elbert Edmund (Gil) Gilbertson passed away and joined his loving wife Peg on July 17,2014.
A memorial celebration of his life will be held at St. Michaels' Cathedral at 2:00 pm on Friday, July 25, 2014 with Dean Richard Demarest officiating. Friends, family, and cathedral members are welcomed and casual Friday afternoon attire is fine. A commemorative in Gil's honor will be held separately for the entire St. Luke's family at a date and time to be announced by Dr. David Pate and his staff.
Gil was born Jan. 17, 1928 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was the only child to Elbert and Doris (Nelson) Gilbertson. His younger years were difficult and the most memorable and important part of his life really began when he reached young adulthood.
He served our country in both the Army and Navy in "behind the lines" duty during WWII and the Korean War. Details are few and far between because he felt his service, although necessary, was safe and not nearly as important as those that served in "harms way". He took the time on every Memorial Day to contact all his friends and family who did risk their lives, thanking them for their service. Gil was grateful, however, that his service did provide G.I. benefits, which allowed him to grow and continue with his education.
After his service to our country, he met the love of his life, Peg. They married and Gil went on to earn a B.B.A. from St. Cloud State and Master's degree in Hospital Administration from the University of Minnesota in 1957. During this period, they started a family and Peg supported all by working a graveyard shift in nursing so she could be home with the youngsters during the day with Gil there at night, studying for the next day at school.
Between 1956 and 1959, Gil earned his degrees and worked as an Administrative Assistant, Minneapolis General Hospital; Instructor, University of Minnesota Hospital Administration Program; and Staff Consultant with James Hamilton Associates, a Hospital Consulting firm. In 1959, the life that most of us are familiar with started here in Idaho, his home that he truly loved.
Gil accepted the position of Assistant Administrator with St. Luke's Hospital and moved Peg, a son, and two daughters to Boise. In 1961, he was named the Administrator and he and Peg had their third daughter. The family was now complete; Kevin, Kris, Kerri, and Karla born in 1954, 1956, 1958, and 1961 respectively, but the career had only just begun.
Gil was a wonderful husband, father and provider, but his devotion was to St. Luke's, quality healthcare for all, and civic duty and contribution He was with St. Luke's for 29 years and was instrumental in the founding of the Mountain States Tumor Institute and was dedicated to the development of a cardiac, neo-natal, and acute care facility second to none. It takes a team to achieve incredible success and growth and with the help of devoted Board members, skilled physicians and nurses, a hard working executive staff, and every caring employee of St. Luke's, the relatively small town hospital had become a nationally recognized regional medical center. Gil was nominated and went on to serve as Chairman of the American Hospital Association became a member of national healthcare executive associations too numerous to list. In 1988, Gil received the Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Hospital Management from the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Distinguished Service Award from the American Hospital Association.
In an effort to fulfill what Gil believed was his civic and humanitarian duty, a partial list of organizations in which he was a member, president, or board member follows. St. Michael's Cathedral, Boise Rotary Club, Idaho Hospital Association, Blue Cross of Idaho, American Red Cross, Boise State University Practical Nursing Committee, Bronco Athletic Association, YMCA, Greater Boise Chamber of Commerce, Idaho Botanical Gardens, Idaho Discovery Center, Salvation Army, Boise Philharmonic, and the Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse for the State of Idaho.
Away from the office and meeting rooms, Gil loved spending time with his family and friends at the cabin on Lake Cascade, traveling the world with Peg and friends, flyfishing, golf, photography, the Philharmonic, music and musicals, theater, cheering for the Broncos, or simply petting man's best friend.
Gil's now with his love, Peg, who passed away in 2007 and he's survived by his son, Kevin Gilbertson; daughter Kris Smith; daughter Kerri Carruthers and her husband Dan; daughter Karla Blessing; and grandchildren Tyler, Rebecca, Andy, Ben, Rob, Hannah, and Shianne.
The family asks that condolences be sent to the Gilbertson Family c/o Alden Waggoner Funeral Chapel, 5400 Fairview Avenue, Boise, Idaho 83706. The family also suggests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the E.E. Gilbertson Scholarship Foundation or St. Luke's Health Foundation.
In closing, included is an excerpt from a poem Gil found very fitting. "If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses and all prejudice against my fellow man. Give my sins to the devil. Give my soul to God. If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever."
Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel
5400 Fairview Avenue Boise, ID 83706
Published in Idaho Statesman on July 22, 2014