Daniel Robert Gilbert Ph.D.

"> Daniel Robert Gilbert, Ph.D.
Daniel Robert Gilbert, Ph.D., 87, of Moravian Hall Square; formerly of Hanover Township, Northampton County, died Wednesday evening, April 25, 2012 in Moravian Hall Square, Nazareth, PA. Dan was the husband of Joan (Tyler) Gilbert for 62 years, who he met while both were students at Middlebury College in Vermont. Born in Niagara Falls, NY on August 5, 1924, he was the son of the late Harvey Nicholas Gilbert and Maude Katherine (Fogle) Gilbert. He was predeceased by his older brother Arthur Donald Gilbert, and older sister Janet Margaret Gilbert. Dan was a grandson of the late Daniel and Mary Margaret (Ott) Gilbert of Chambersburg, PA, and of the late Robert A. and Harriet Elizabeth (Pettit) Fogle of Hazleton, PA. A long-time member of First Presbyterian Church in Bethlehem, Dan was of the Protestant faith. Raised in Niagara Falls, NY, Dans fondest memories of his childhood was traveling to the Canadian side of the falls, attending the 1934 Chicago Worlds Fair with his Grandmother Fogle, and the annual summer visits of his Aunt Fluff (his mothers sister, Florence Fogle). He served his country in World War II as a sergeant in the army in the Panama Canal Zone and the Galapagos Islands. Dr. Gilbert was a professor of history at Moravian College from 1953-1988, and was the chairman of the history department from 1963-1972. After his retirement, he was a part-time Professor of History Emeritus and College Archivist at Moravian College from 1988 until September of 2001. Dan earned a B.A., in American Literature from Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT in 1948. He then earned an M.A. in American Civilization (1949) and Ph.D. in American Civilization at the University of Pennsylvania in 1952. At Penn, he learned from history professor Roy. F. Nichols to never make it boring when teaching a class. A specialist in American Colonial and Civil War history, Dr. Gilbert taught history at the Ogontz Center of the Pennsylvania State University (1952-1953), Moravian College (1953-1988), Amherst College (1957-1958), and taught part-time at Lehigh University (1959), Muhlenberg College (1982), Moravian College (1988-mid-1990s), and in the Temple University graduate General Education Program for Teachers from 1959-1963. He received the Lindback Foundation Award for distinguished teaching in 1965. Dan was always grateful for the friendship and mentorship from fellow Moravian College history professor Richard Dick Jones. Dr. Gilbert also served as a student advisor, where he had a profound impact on helping many Moravian College students learn to study in an organized way, identify their strengths, and council them on their career paths. At Moravian College, Dr. Gilbert taught a variety of courses in American history; which included the colonial America period, American Revolution, the Civil War, and the history of sport in American life. He was the author of numerous articles and book reviews on Lehigh Valley and American history, and wrote biographical essays on major figures in American sport history. His last major project was editing the Civil War letters of John Frederick Frueauff. Community affairs: Dan was active in community affairs. He was the Executive Director of Historic Bethlehem, Inc. from 1973-1976, and served as the president of the Foreign Policy Association of the Lehigh Valley. Dan was elected to the Northampton County Home Rule Charter Commission in 1976; and served as secretary of the Commission which successfully wrote and got passed by popular vote the countys present Home Rule charter. Dan was a member of the Higher Education Authority of Northampton County from 1982-1998, and was a lay member of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania from 1986-1992. Dan had a passionate interest tending the gardens in his yard. His favorite part of the country was the New England coastline and mountains. He was an avid sports fan; especially of the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, and Penn Quakers basketball team. He was a fixture at Moravian College football and basketball games, where he introduced his sons to a life-long interest in athletics. He enjoyed attending his sons and grandchildrens youth, high school, and college graduations, athletic competitions, and musical performances. He followed politics and current events closely. In retirement, he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren John and Victoria; taking an avid interest in their education, sports activities, and professions. Later in his life, he welcomed the arrival of his two younger grandchildren Sam and Jesse, and enjoyed their visits. Survivors: Wife, Joan; four sons, Daniel Robert Gilbert Jr. and wife Kathryn Rogers of Gettysburg, PA and Claremont, CA; Michael John Tyler Gilbert of Berea, OH; Karl David Gilbert and wife Catherine of Allentown, PA; and Christopher Peter Gilbert and wife Julie of St. Peter, MN; four grandchildren, John Christopher Gilbert and wife Kristin of Bath, PA, Victoria Marie Gilbert of Philadelphia, PA, Sam Julian Gilbert and Jesse Christopher Gilbert of St. Peter, MN; sister-in-law, Beverly Gilbert; nieces, Susan Dwyer, Barbara Ouimette, and Carol Thibodeau; nephews, Donald Gilbert, Steve Tyler, Keith Tyler, Patrick Tyler, and Timothy Tyler. Services: Memorial service: Saturday, May 5 at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 2344 Center Street, Bethlehem, PA 18017. Internment and reception afterwards for immediate family members only. Arrangements: Pearson Funeral Home, 1901 Linden Street, Bethlehem, PA. 18017. Closed casket visitation hours, Friday, May 4: 7:30 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, May 5 at the church: 10 to 11 a.m. Online condolences: www.pearsonfh.com. Contributions: In honor of Dr. Gilberts passion toward his students, make donations in his memory to the Moravian College Gilbert-Tyler Scholarship Fund. Send donations to Moravian College, C/O Patti Price, Director of Planned Giving, 1200 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018-6650.

Published in Morning Call on Apr. 29, 2012