Gilbert left this world on a beautiful dawn morning to begin his next journey in eternity with Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior. His passing at his new home in Ventura, Calif. on Dec. 26, 2013 was truly peaceful with his loving wife, Mary Alice and his daughter, Kathy by his side, one day shy of his 77th birthday.
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Gilbert was born in Santa Barbara, Calif. to Petra and Perfecto Navarro and had seven siblings. He was a construction laborer for most of his life and a skilled gardener. Any job he tackled, he did so with excellence.
He met his "pretty" wife, Mary Alice, in Santa Barbara and this past September 2013, they celebrated 55 years of marriage.
He was well loved by many and probably the friendliest person ever! There was never a quick conversation to be had with Gilbert; instead, one would have an interaction filled with love, care and details of all he was proud of, particularly his grandchildren, whom brought him much joy.
He loved being outside and enjoyed camping and hunting for deer, rabbit and quail in the Santa Barbara mountains with his son, Salvador and nephew, Jimmy Corral, who was like another son to him. He had other "sons" and "grandsons" that he cherished too numerous to list here, but a few include: David Runia, Russ Dorsey, and Mike Holler. While living in his much-loved Bozeman for the past five years, he made many new friends and enjoyed working in his yard and garage, going shooting, hunting, and riding his ATV and fellowshipping with the wonderful people at Journey Church.
Though he died of cancer just six weeks after moving back to California from Montana, he kept a positive outlook on his life and sense of humor intact which was inspirational to all; as many came to visit during his last weeks, he was still joking and "carrying on" with family and friends that came to visit. No doubt, anyone who came by would always leave smiling because of something funny he did or said.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Alice Navarro (Ventura, Calif.); children, Salvador Navarro and wife, Darlene Navarro (Bozeman, Mont.) and Kathy Navarro Sochel and husband Richard Sochel (Ventura, Calif.); grandchildren, Daniel, Christopher and Rachel Navarro (Bozeman, Mont.) and Jonathan and Juliana Sochel (Ventura, Calif.) and his beloved sister and friend, Connie Moralez, (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and sisters, Cecelia Castro and Sally Rodriguez (Santa Barbara, Calif.).
Gilbert was a very generous soul. Not in just giving material things or money, which he did often to anyone in need, but also giving in love, laughter, and joy. Every day he would express his thankfulness for his loving family and wonderful friends. He will be truly missed by those who knew him. Enjoy being in the presence of the Living God, Gilbert, knowing that you were well loved by many!
A celebration of life service to be arranged in Bozeman in late spring or early summer. Loved ones will be notified.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Jan. 18, 2014