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Donald P. Gilb


1926 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Donald P. Gilb Obituary
August 4, 1926 - August 4, 2017 Donald P. Gilb died on Friday, August 4, 2017 at the age of 91. Born in Los Angeles, California, Don was the second of the four sons of Albert C. and Bertha D. Gilb. He attended St. Columbkille grammar school and Mt. Carmel High School. In June 1944, at 17 years of age, he enlisted in the United States Navy immediately upon graduation from Mt. Carmel. Because of his age, his enlistment required the written permission of his father. He served his country honorably in the South Pacific aboard the USS Barnes and was discharged in May 1946 receiving an Asiatic-Pacific star, Philippine Liberation ribbon and a World War II victory medal. Don married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Jeannette Marie Coulombe, in July 1948. They settled in the San Gabriel valley where they raised and educated their six children funding tuitions for Catholic grammar and high schools on a single income. Don and Jeannette were known as a loving and affectionate couple and enjoyed a deep emotional and spiritual connection through their faith and parenthood. In her later years as Jeannette was afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, Don became her primary "care giver", a role he played with patience and grace until Jeannette's passing in September 1993. Don met and then married Mary Shanley Hayes in June 1995 and settled in San Clemente. Don and Mary were avid movie goers and enjoyed an active social life. Mary passed away in December 2015. A graduate of the "college of hard knocks" and supplemented by management and leadership courses at the University of Indiana, the University of Washington and UCLA, Don had a long and successful career in the real estate and financial services industries; first with Title Insurance and Trust Corporation and then with Glendale Federal Savings Bank. Don retired from Glendale Federal in March 1988 as a Senior Vice President and then enjoyed several years of travelling around the U.S. in a "fifth-wheel" trailer with Jeannette including a trip through the wilds of Alaska. Don was a man who loved the outdoors, particularly when it included a round of golf and a dry gin martini at the 19th hole. He was a self-taught master carpenter and built heirloom furniture and toy rocking horses for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Don will be fondly remembered for his particular brand of fatherhood which included "teaching moments" like audibly demonstrating his U.S. Navy Morse code skills ("dit, dit, dit¿.dah, dah, dah¿..dit, dit, dit"), parlor tricks after family dinners ("two little blackbirds sitting on a hill¿.one named Jack and one named Jill"), timely recitation of some of his favorite sayings ("It's raining like a cow peeing on a flat rock!") and keeping his offspring's priorities in check ("School is first, followed by sports and work¿..then social life!"). Don is survived by his six children; Donnette, Clifford, Julie, John, Susan and James, their spouses, nineteen grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. He leaves us with a legacy of love, industry, hospitality, tradition, fairness, humor and faith. He will be remembered and honored in our hearts and minds. Cabot & Sons, Pasadena Directors
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Aug. 9, 2017
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