Michael McNally Gilbert (1938 - 2018)

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Michael was born in Glendale, California to Kathleen Virginia Wimer Gilbert and Gordon Frederick Gilbert, their third son. He grew up in the Los Angeles suburb Highland Park, attending Garvanza, Luther Burbank Jr. High and graduating from Franklin High School. Naturally athletic, he was an excellent swimmer, diver, surfer and baseball player. He played on the Brooklyn Dodger farm team in the summer between his junior/senior year in high school. He was on a team with Don Drysdale, another high school student, who later became famous.

Mike opted to volunteer for the compulsory draft to get that out of the way. He served in the Army in Germany in the Berlin Command from 1957-1959 and then graduated from L.A. City College in 1962. He worked at several jobs that didn't much interest him and played in a softball league. He was recruited by an insurance company that wanted him on the ball team. Thus began his long career in the employee health benefits field as a trainee, salesman and ultimately as a broker. He also became an avid skier with a group of friends in this field.

He was married twice with stepdaughters but had no children of his own. He eventually reconnected with a former high school classmate, Patricia Gibbons (Mata) who was living in Port Angeles. After a year's courtship via phone and letters he came to visit in 2001 and never left. They were married in 2006. Mike was quoted several times as saying he finally found out what marriage could be. He told people that the last 17 years were the best of his life.

Michael was predeceased by his parents and two brothers, Gordon and George. He leaves a niece, Caryn Gilbert and two nephews, Mark and AJ Gilbert as well as his beloved wife, Pat.

He passed away three days after his 80th birthday and did not want any funeral services. Being of both Scandinavian and Scots-Irish heritage, he suggested a Wake would be more fun. He was a fun-loving guy all his life...maybe he'll get his wish.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News from Sept. 14 to Sept. 15, 2018
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