M. Allen Gilbert, Ph.D., born in Williamsville, N.Y., passed away in Palm Coast, FL on August 1, 2014 at the age of 93. Allen received an AB from the U. of Michigan in 1942, a Master's from the U. of Buffalo and his doctorate from Indiana University in 1961. Unable to enlist for combat during World War II due to a misformed leg, Allen volunteered to serve on the front lines as an ambulance driver in Italy, earning two battle stars. Allen had a long career in the New York State education system first as a history teacher, counselor and assistant prinicpal. He held tenure as a full professor at Nassau Community College for 15 years. One of Dr. Gilbert's greatest achievements is that during ten years of teaching American and world history, all but one of his students passed the N.Y. Regents Exams. Allen's treasured wife of 45 years, Sarah Joan Tuccelli Gilbert, preceded him in death in 2001. The couple retired to Palm Coast, FL in 1979. They shared a deep love of music, especially opera. Allen was a member of the Unitarian-Universalist Society in Ormond Beach, FL. In retirement, Allen dedicated himself to living out the U.U. principles of justice, respect for the worth and dignity of all peoples, and the freedom to pursue a personal search for truth, which led him to a lifelong support of democratic ideals and social justice. He was a founding member of the Native American Indian Museum and of the Martin Luther King National Memorial, both in Washington, D.C. He was also a supporter of the A.C.L.U., the Native American Educational Foundation and a Life Member of the NAACP. He was active in F.A.I.T.H., a interfaith coalition which pursues the solution to social issues such as educational inequalities, public transportation needs, homelessness and treatment of drug addictions in area prisons. A celebration of Allen Gilbert's life will be held at the Unitarian Universalist in Ormond Beach, Florida at a date to be announced in the fall. Memorial donations may be sent to Florida Hospital Hospice Foundation, 60 Memorial Medical Parkway, Palm Coast, FL 32164.
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Aug. 17, 2014