LACONIA - Well-known businessman Delphis "Del" R. Gilbert died Tuesday, November 6, 2012 in Laconia, following a brief illness. The 85 year-old entrepreneur founded Gilbert Block Company over six decades ago in Laconia, expanding to other locations in Hooksett, Littleton and Tamworth with the help of loyal family, dedicated employees and customers. He built the enterprise from 1948, promoting innovations as a member of the National Concrete Masonry Association, National Precast Concrete Association, and National Association of Manufacturers. The businesses continues with second generation family leadership.
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Born in New Britain, Conn. November 26, 1926, he was raised in Belmont, attending that community's schools, later moving to Laconia with his beloved wife of 64 years, Elizabeth (O'Connor) Gilbert, who survives him. He is also survived by three daughters, a son, and their families. Stephanie Gilbert of Seattle, Karen Gilbert of Belmont, Brian Gilbert and his wife Jan of Laconia, and their children Chelsea, Sara and Julie, and Joni Gilbert of Canterbury, and her daughter, Paige KnightsSwan. There are also four great grand children.
Additional survivors are his two brothers Rene Gilbert and his wife Elizabeth of Gilford, and Eddie Gilbert of Bow; along with four sisters – Rita Soucy of Concord, Cecile Soucy and her husband Raymond of Pembroke, Florence Simoneau of Penacook, and Irene Bourbeau and her husband Arthur, of Concord. Mr. Gilbert was predeceased by his brothers Arthur Gilbert and Norman Gilbert, and his parents, Maurice and Rosilda (Savard) Gilbert.
He was a Seabee in the United States Navy where he was stationed in the Philippines and worked as a underwater demolitionist during World War II. Devoted to his work, he was a longtime communicant of St. Joseph's Church and generous community contributor. A former president of the Laconia Lions Club, he participated on numerous civic committees, and was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, B.P.O.E. in Laconia. Mr. Gilbert was honored for service to the Boy Scouts of America with the Silver Beaver award, recognizing his commitment as a Scout Leader for Troop #68, and support to the Hidden Valley Scout Camp.
He thoroughly enjoyed all of New Hampshire's seasons, whether boating on Lake Winnipesaukee or skiing at Gunstock, and some memorable dances with Elizabeth on Irwin's Pier ballroom floor at Weirs Beach and the Elks Lodge. For many of the last 20 years, Venice, Florida was their annual winter destination.
Calling hours are Sunday, November 11, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., in the Carriage House of the Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Reverend Father Marc Drouin Monday, November 12, at 10 a.m., at St. Andre Bessette Parish – St. Joseph Church, 30 Church Street, Laconia, N.H.
A private burial will be held at a later date in the family lot of Sacred Heart Cemetery, Laconia.
The family suggests memorial donations be made to the
– Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter, Five Bedford Farms Drive, Suite 201, Bedford, N.H. 03110.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements. For more information and an online memorial, visit www.wilkinsonbeane.com.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home
164 Pleasant Street Laconia, NH 03246
Published in The Concord Monitor on Nov. 9, 2012