LACONIA - Well-known businessman Delphis R. "Del" Gilbert died Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Laconia, following a brief illness.
The 85 year-old entrepreneur founded Gilbert Block Company over six decades ago in Laconia, expanding to other locations in Hooksett, Littleton and Tamworth with the help of loyal family and dedicated employees and customers. He built the enterprise from 1948, promoting innovations as a member of the National Concrete Masonry Association, National Precast Concrete Association and National Association of Manufacturers. The business continues with second-generation family leadership.
Born in New Britain, Conn., on Nov. 26, 1926, he was raised in Belmont, attending that community's schools, later moving to Laconia with his beloved wife of 64 years, Elizabeth (O'Connor) Gilbert, who survives him. He is also survived by three daughters, a son and their families, Stephanie Gilbert of Seattle, Karen Gilbert of Belmont, Brian Gilbert and his wife, Jan, of Laconia, and their children Chelsea, Sara and Julie, and Joni Gilbert of Canterbury and her daughter, Paige KnightsSwan. There are also four great-grandchildren.
Additional survivors are his two brothers, Rene Gilbert and his wife, Elizabeth, of Gilford, and Eddie Gilbert of Bow; along with four sisters, Rita Soucy of Concord, Cecile Soucy and her husband, Raymond, of Pembroke, Florence Simoneau of Penacook and Irene Bourbeau and her husband, Arthur, of Concord. Mr. Gilbert was predeceased by his brothers, Arthur Gilbert and Norman Gilbert, and his parents, Maurice and Rosilda (Savard) Gilbert.
He was a Seabee in the U.S. Navy, where he was stationed in the Philippines and worked as an underwater demolitionist during World War II. Devoted to his work, he was a longtime communicant of St. Joseph Church and generous community contributor. A former president of the Laconia Lions Club, he participated on numerous civic committees and was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, in Laconia. Mr. Gilbert was honored for service to the Boy Scouts of America with the Silver Beaver Award, recognizing his commitment as a Scout leader for Troop 68 and support to the Hidden Valley Scout Camp.
He thoroughly enjoyed all of New Hampshire's seasons, whether boating on Lake Winnipesaukee or skiing at Gunstock, and some memorable dances with Elizabeth on Irwin's Pier ballroom floor at Weirs Beach and the Elks Lodge
. For many of the last 20 years, Venice, Fla., was their annual winter destination..
services: Calling hours are today from 1 to 4 and 6 to 8 p. m. in the Carriage House of the Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home, 164 Pleasant St., Laconia. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated by the Rev. Father Marc Drouin on Monday, Nov. 12, at 10 a.m. at St. Andre Bessette Parish-St. Joseph Church, 30 Church St., Laconia. A private burial will be held at a later date in the family lot at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Laconia.
The family suggests memorial donations be made to the
, Mass./N.H. Chapter, Five Bedford Farms Drive, Suite 201, Bedford 03110.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements. For more information and an online memorial, visit wilkinsonbeane.com