Gerard "Jerry" Henry
Gerard Henry Hilbert, M.D., passed away peacefully on February 26, 2014, at the age of 88 and is in the arms of the Lord.
He is preceded in death by his dear wife of 63 years, Leona; his parents, Milton Fortune and Marie Day; his brothers, Duval, Peter and Brun; and his sister, Anne.
Dr. Hilbert was born on July 5, 1925, in New Orleans, LA. He attended Jesuit High School. In 1942, at the young age of seventeen, Dr. Hilbert enlisted in the United States Navy
and attended Loyola University under the V-12 College Navy Training Program. Four years later, he was awarded a Victory Medal and honorably discharged. He immediately sought to become active in the Naval Reserves. A lifetime of service followed.
After earning his Doctor of Medicine from LSU Medical School, Dr. Hilbert was called to active duty during the Korean War
. He served on the hospital ship USS Consolation. After nearly a decade of US Naval Reserve service including two years of active duty, Dr. Hilbert returned home to dedicate himself to the medical community in Pensacola, FL. He served Sacred Heart Hospital for 36 years and selflessly gave his time to the advancement of medical education in the region.
Dr. Hilbert was Sacred Heart Hospital's first pathologist. He then served as Chief of Staff at Sacred Heart Hospital in 1960 and President of the Escambia County Medical Society in 1963. He went on to found Sacred Heart Hospital's School of Cytotechnology, and was instrumental in founding the Sacred Heart Hospital School of Medical Technology - programs that continue at the University of West Florida today. Dr. Hilbert also was the force behind the establishment of the Northwest Florida Blood Center and served as its medical director for over 40 years.
Dr. Hilbert was devoted to his faith and he continued his service in the Catholic Church. He and his wife were members of St. Paul Catholic Church since its inception, and he served his church as a Eucharistic Minister.
Jerry was a man who enjoyed fishing, playing tennis at PJC and Bayview Park, and visiting his beloved New Orleans with his wife and children. But what he loved most was spending time with his family in the backyard of his home on Tanglewood Drive, where he could shoot the perfect set shot and barbeque the perfect burger.
He is survived by his brother, Milton Hilbert, Jr.; his eight children, Kristin Ann (Karl) Sirotkin, Karen Madeline Pandolfi, Gerard "Jerry" Henry (Brenda) Hilbert, Jr., Caroline Marie (Chris) Farrugia, Thomas George Hilbert, Catherine Lee (Gerry) Barker, Paul Anthony (Elizabeth) Hilbert, and Jeanne Claire (Vic) Lazzari; his eight grandchildren, Leela, Daniel, Meghan, Jennifer, Mallory, Day, Eric, and Anthony; and his great-granddaughter, Madeline.
The Hilbert children would like to offer the utmost gratitude to all of their parents' caregivers, including those at Covenant Hospice, for their exceptional professionalism and genuine love during this extremely difficult period.
Visitation will be held 12:30-2:30pm Sunday, March 2, 2014 at Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel with a rosary to be prayed at 12:30pm.
A Funeral Mass will be held 11:00am, Monday, March 3, 2014 at St. Paul Catholic Church, 1700 Conway Dr., Pensacola, FL 32503, with Fr. Doug Halsema celebrant. Entombment will follow at Holy Cross Mausoleum.
If you so choose, memorial contributions may be made to the Charity Hospital School of Nursing (CHSN) Dr. and Mrs. Gerard Hilbert Scholarship Fund, 450 South Claiborne Ave., New Orleans, LA 70112. Online condolences may be offered at www.harpermorrismemorialchapel.com
Express your condolences in our guestbook at pnj.com/obits