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Lawrence Norman Gilbertson, former Snohomish High School Agriculture teacher, passed away in Spokane, WA, on March 19, 2009, at the age of 91. Born on August 16, 1917 to Edward and Pauline Gilbertson, he grew up with three sisters, two brothers, and many nearby relatives in the small farming community of Charlson, ND. He attended the North Dakota Agricultural College during the Great Depression, graduating in 1940 with a BS in Agricultural Economics. He headed to Seattle, WA, where he worked as an immigrant inspector for the Department of Justice before being drafted into the Army during WWII. He served two and a half years in Northern France and Central Europe, including the aftermath of the Normandy Invasion. After the war, he worked various unfulfilling jobs before attending WSU to qualify to teach Agriculture to WWII veterans at SHS. His career at SHS would last from 1948 to 1978, teaching Ag, farm shop, and initiating a successful Ornamental Horticulture program. He was extremely proud of his FFA affiliations and the success of his students.
Lawrence Norman Gilbertson
Larry met Jean Rademacher, a Home Economics teacher from Tieton, WA, at WSU summer school and they were married June 23, 1951. They had five children and built several homes in Snohomish, WA, as their family and farming grew. Larry and Jean loved feeding their family fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, and meat produced on their own land. They were also active in Christ the King Lutheran Church.
Retiring in 1978, the couple moved to Orient, WA where they built a several homes, a store, restaurant, and laundromat, and Larry had a nursery. In 1993, they moved to Rockwood Retirement Communities in Spokane, WA. Here he was able to continue his horticulture talents and he was active in the Spokane Garden Club and his church. His other hobbies were candymaking and his computer.
He was preceded in death by his son, Peter in 1976; his wife, Jean in 2006; his parents; and siblings.
He is survived by his children, Cathryne (Lon) Warnock, Laurie (Prem) Radheshwar, David (Marilyn) Gilbertson, and Paula (Paul) Jones; 10 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Service celebrating the lives of Lawrence and Jean Gilbertson will be held at 4 p.m., on Saturday, April 18, 2009, at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 1305 Pine Ave., Snohomish, 98290. They fondly remembered their many students, friends and neighbors from the years they lived in Snohomish.
Published in The Herald (Everett) on April 11, 2009