Well-respected and well-loved Petaluma dentist, Robert Sheldon Gilbert, died March 8th, due to complications following open-heart surgery. He was one day shy of his 76th birthday. As he liked to be called, Bob was born in Chicago to Lillian and Irving Harris in 1938. He moved to the Los Angeles area when he was 10. His mother remarried when he was a young teen. Bob and his stepfather, Benjamin Gilbert, had great respect and love for each other. Bob chose to show this in a profound way by taking his last name. Bob graduated from Beverly Hills High School, went on to UCLA for his undergraduate studies and graduated UCSF Dental School in 1964. He was dedicated to continuous learning and striving for excellence. He enjoyed being a clinical instructor at UCLA 1969-1971, and was awarded "Best Clinical Instructor" from his students. He obtained his fellowship with the Academy of General Dentistry, and went on to earn the Mastership Award, making him one of a very elite group of dentists in all of California, and the first in Sonoma County to be honored with such an Award. He was a member of the Redwood Empire Dental Society since moving to Petaluma, and served for many years on the board of the Academy of Cosmetic and Adhesive Dentistry, including as elected president. Bob was an avid UCLA sports fan who respected and embodied the teachings of Coach John Wooden. One of his favorite teachings of Coach Wooden was his two rules of three. First: "Never Lie, Never Cheat, Never Steal, and second: "Don't Whine, Don't Make Excuses, and be Responsible." Bob strived to live his life based on these core principles. Bob enjoyed spending his time keeping up with UCLA sports, traveling, updating his stock portfolio, and spending quality and fun time with his family. Bob was a member of the Congregation of B'nai Israel and was a strong supporter of Israel. He was a devoted and loving husband, father; grandfather, brother, brother-in-law and friend. Bob is survived by his cherished wife of 45 years, Anne (Lancaster) Gilbert, beloved daughters, Shaleah Nelson and Harmony Elie, sons-in-law Scott Nelson and Patrick Elie, grandchildren Skyler, Benjamin, Zane and Sydney, as well as the multitude of people he touched through the years with his wisdom and humor. Friends and family are invited to attend the Funeral Service on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at the PARENT-SORENSEN MORTUARY & CREMATORY, 850 Keokuk St., Petaluma. Interment: B'nai Israel Cemetery, Petaluma. Donations in his name are welcomed at Congregation B'nai Israel and Hospice of Petaluma.
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from Mar. 11 to Mar. 12, 2014