A celebration of life service for Galen R. Gilbert will be held at 11 a.m. on Thu., June 12, 2014 at the Lamar United Methodist Church.
Galen R. Gilbert went peacefully to be with the Lord on June 2, 2014. He was born April 4, 1939, in Saint Francis, Kan. to the late Phil and Martha Gilbert.
Galen is survived by his wife Lina, daughter Dena (married to Jeffrey Sheldon), and granddaughter Audrey Sheldon. Galen attended Clover Meadows Elementary School and Lamar Union High School where he lettered all four years in baseball.
He was honored by being selected Head Boy during his senior year and graduated in 1956. After high school he attended Colorado State University, earning a bachelor's degree in accounting.
He met and married the love of his life, Lina Lea Gilbert (Edwards) Nov. 18, 1967. They resided in Lamar, Colo. and had a daughter, Dena, who was born in 1970.
Galen and his family left the Lamar area shortly thereafter so that he could attend Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore. He graduated in 1974 with a doctorate degree in optometry.
In 1976 he moved to Sparks, Nev. and started his optometry practice along with his wife, Lina. He said that building the practice and working with Lina was one of the best times of his life.
He truly enjoyed his work and took great pride in helping his patients. He was honored by being selected as one of the doctors on the United States Olympic Committee Optical Program in 1979.
After he retired in 1997 he often commented that he missed seeing and visiting with his many patients.
Those who knew him knew that Galen was a self-described "Jack of all trades, and master of none." However, those that knew him also knew that anything he put his mind to would come to fruition.
His patience, determination, focus and "dumb luck" (as he would say) made him a successful and masterful "Jack of all trades." Although he participated successfully in different professions, Galen continued to hold farming and ranching near and dear to his heart.
In the late 1980's he became an active stockholder in Valley State Bank. Later, he was proud to become Chairman of the Board of the bank. He considered this one of his most enjoyable careers and found much success and joy in his work.
He enjoyed his participation in the bank because it gave him the opportunity to work with and help people in a community that he loved.
In 2006 Galen's granddaughter Audrey Sheldon was born to Jeffrey and Dena Sheldon. Audrey was the "twinkle in his eyes."
She entertained him with piano and singing concerts, storytelling, and lots of hugs and kisses. He enjoyed playing hide-and-seek, Sorry, hide the golf ball, and counting coins with her. Audrey and her grandpa spent special times together when he would buy McDonald's oatmeal raisin cookies and milk and have them waiting for her when she came to visit after school.
Galen enjoyed traveling and was fortunate to visit many of the destinations he had always dreamed about. As a sports fan, Galen enjoyed watching all kinds of sporting events.
He was thrilled when he was able to attend the Super bowl game in 2008. In 2009 he was able to fulfill a lifelong dream when he experienced a game at Yankee Stadium played by his favorite baseball team, the NY Yankees.
His travels included adventures throughout the U.S. as well as Japan, Europe, Mexico, Canada, Russia and the Caribbean. He was able to experience many trips with friends and family and loved to share funny stories about the people he met and experiences that he had.
Galen was passionate about education, setting and meeting goals, and encouraging people. He would share words of encouragement and advice with anyone that needed them.
He was always ready to support anyone that was interested in pursuing their goals and dreams. Galen was a member of numerous community and philanthropic organizations including Elks, Rotary, and the United Methodist Church.
His words, actions, and financial support have positively impacted many individuals and organizations. One of his goals was to leave this world a better place and through his efforts he accomplished exactly that.
Galen left this earth on a cloud of prayer and love. We will miss him but are comforted to know that he will continue to watch over, protect, teach and guide us as our personal guardian angel.
In lieu of flowers the family respectfully requests that donations be made to the Lamar Community College Scholarship Fund.
For more information or to leave online condolences please visit www.valleymemorialfc.com.