March 12, 2013

Robert Waugh Gilbert, 89, passed away March 12, 2013 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born in Ft. Myers and graduated from Fort Myers High School in 1941, and was an outstanding athletic in several sports. He attended the University of Florida and played on the Gator football team before leaving to join the Army in World War two. He returned to the university and played on the team after the war, and was recognized as the only person who played for the Gators both before and after the war and was a prisoner of war.

He fought in Belgium and was captured by the Germans and help as a prisoner of war for six months before being rescued. He received two purple hearts and the bronze star. He was the grandson of William H. Towles who served as one of the first Commissioners of Lee County in 1887.

His life after graduating from the University of Florida included marriage, the birth of three children, and a career in teaching, coaching, and educational administration. Following the death of his first wife, Bob returned to visit some friends in Ft. Myers and inquired about his former high school sweetheart , Marjorie Whitehurst. When he learned that she was not married, he quickly made contact with her and soon thereafter they were married and had homes in both North Carolina and Ft. Myers until Bob sold property there and moved permanently to Ft. Myers where they enjoyed a blessed life together until his death.

He is survived by his wife Marjorie Whitehurst Gilbert and two sons Bruce and Keith, and a daughter Leeann.

A memorial service will be held at Harvey Englehardt Chapel on Friday, March 15,2013 at eleven o'clock in the morning. Visit to leave a condolence.


Published in The News-Press on Mar. 14, 2013