Funeral services for Darrell L. "Pee Wee" Gilbert, 87, were conducted by Pastor Doug Opp on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Audubon. Interment was in the Arlington Heights Cemetery in Audubon. The honorary casket bearers were Leroy "Zeke" Nielsen, Paul Rogers, Milo Clemmensen, William P. Roth, Larry Petersen, Clifton Petersen, and Dick Jacobsen. The casket bearers were Steve Stetzel, Tom Rasmussen, Jerry Lauritsen, Richard Young, Kirk Wiges, and Lee Nielsen. The Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon was in charge of the arrangements.
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Darrell "Pee Wee" Leon Gilbert, the son of Charles and Gertrude Trullinger Gilbert, was born July 29, 1925, at his parents' home in Viola Township, Audubon County, and died Aug. 31, 2012, at the Friendship Home in Audubon, at the age of 87 years, 1 month, and 2 days.
Darrell was baptized as an adult by Pastor Larry Lystig at his home in Audubon. He attended the Viola School and then attended the Audubon High School. On Sept. 23, 1943, Pee Wee was inducted into the United States Navy. During his tour of duty he served on a destroyer, the USS Taylor, and saw action in the Philippines. He was also on board the USS Taylor when it sailed into Tokyo Bay, Japan for the signing of the Peace Treaty ending the war. He was honorably discharged on March 26, 1946, and returned to the Audubon area where he was employed as a painter by Lauritz Nielsen for several years.
On April 22, 1950, he was united in marriage to Mardelle Angeline Hansen at Bethany Lutheran Church west of Audubon. One son Dan was born to this union. Pee Wee was hired by Iowa Public Service and worked in gas maintenance. He later became the Gas Maintenance Foreman until he retired after working for I.P.S for over 39 years.
Pee Wee and Mardelle enjoyed traveling across the United States to attend reunions of Pee Wee's Navy shipmates. They traveled to as many as fifteen reunions over the years. Pee Wee enjoyed playing golf, reading, and playing cards with his friends. He was also an avid Hawkeye fan and enjoyed watching Iowa football games.
Pee Wee was a member of Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Audubon. He was a member of the Audubon Volunteer Fire Department for many years and had been a member of Dale Christensen Post No. 4119, Audubon, V.F.W. for over 60 years.
Pee Wee was preceded in death by his parents; his brother; Edward Gilbert; and his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Alvin and wife Lilly Hansen, Edgar and wife Gerry Hansen, Marvin Hansen, Erna and husband Kenneth Krone, M.E. Lantz, and Glen Beebe.
Survivors include his wife Mardelle Gilbert of Audubon; his son Dan and wife Ila Gilbert of Ankeny; his granddaughters Kari Gilbert of Ankeny, Nichole Gilbert and fiancé Ronan O'Connor both of Chicago, Ill., Michelle Gilbert of Iowa City, and Sarah Gilbert of Seattle, Wash.; his great-grandson Jacob Lee Gilbert of Ankeny; his sisters Jeanette Lantz of Colville, Wash., and Mary Young of Des Moines; his sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Elinor Gilbert of Madrid, Dr. Herman Hansen of Colorado Springs, Colo., Louis and wife Etta May Hansen of Washington, Ill., and Freda Beebe of Forest City; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Sept. 7 to Sept. 14, 2012