Richard "Quiet Thunder" Gilbert
1934 - 2020
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Richard 'Quiet Thunder' Gilbert, 86
CAMDEN, Del. - Richard "Quiet Thunder" Gilbert passed away peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones, Friday, November 13, 2020.
Mr. Gilbert was born June 13, 1934 in Woodbury, New Jersey to the late Harry C. and Carol E. Gilbert (nee Cuff). He was raised in Woodbury and was a curious child who loved nature, spending most of his time outdoors: exploring, climbing trees, swimming, fishing, hunting and trapping. He attended schools in the Woodbury School District before enlisting in the USAF. After four years of service, he worked at the Ancora Psychiatric Hospital, Hammonton, N.J., The Walt Whitman Hotel, Camden, N.J., The Hampton Leader Printing Company, Cherry Hill, N.J. and finally, at Mobil Oil Refinery in Paulsboro, N.J., where he worked as a machinist and ultimately retired from.
He married the love of his life, Esther Mae Muntz, in 1962. They resided in West Deptford, N.J., where they raised two children, Vincent and Shanna. After retiring, Richard and Esther moved to her home state of Delaware, where they were active members of the Immanuel Union United Methodist Church in Cheswold.
Mr. Gilbert was instrumental in helping organize the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indians of New Jersey. He was a tribal councilman for several years and appointed Chief in 1987.
Retirement allowed him the opportunity to spend time with his family and focus on Native American Cultural and environmental programs he led. He educated audiences in the tristate area for over 40 years. In addition to pride of his Lenni-Lenape heritage, his children, and grandchildren, he was also proud of having spoken at the United Nations, and having authored a book "Original People", with the help of his good friend Greg Vizzi.
In addition to his parents; he was preceded in death by his loving wife of 54 years, Esther Muntz Gilbert; sisters, Ethel Galloway and her husband Amos, Catherine "Tilly" and her husband William "Smitty" Smith; brother-in-law, Barney Helms; sister-in-law, Janet Gilbert; brothers, Herman Gilbert and Harry Gilbert; and daughter-in-law, Kim Gilbert.
He is survived by his son, Vincent L. Gilbert and his sons Bryan and Brandon Gilbert of Newark, Del.; daughter, Shanna Lee Gilbert Rosan and her husband Mike and their children, Avery, Tyler and Tessa Rosan of Frederica, Del.; brothers, Ralph Gilbert and Henry Clay "Jim" Gilbert and his wife Joyce all of Bridgeton, N.J.; sister, Anna "Peachie" Helms of Florida; numerous nieces, nephews, and friends. He touched many with his gentle manner, sense of humor, and sincerity, and will be missed beyond measure.
Funeral services will be held 1 p.m., Saturday, November 21, 2020 at Torbert Funeral Chapel South, 1145 E. Lebanon Rd. (Rt.10), Dover. Friends may call to view from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Interment will be in the Immanuel Union United Methodist Cemetery, Cheswold.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions be made to in Quiet Thunder's memory to Immanuel Union United Methodist Church, The Brandywine Watershed Regeneration Project, the St. Jones Reserve or the Sierra Club.
Letters of condolence may be sent and guestbook signed at

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Published in Delaware State News on Nov. 18, 2020.
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9 entries
February 16, 2021
My husband and I ways looked forward to setting up next to Quiet Thunder at the Blackbird Creek Fall Festival every year. We shared many a conversation. Will dearly miss him. Just found out. Sigh...
Rick and Tish Schuman
November 25, 2020
Dick was the most amazing person I have ever met. His kindness, his willingness to share his culture , his amazing way of teaching, and his hugs. I met him at Abbotts Mill Nature Center and he never forgot who I was when we would meet in other circumstances, he always inquired about family and gave hugs. He had such grace and joy. I am saddened to hear of this loss as he leaves a mark on our society and will be greatly missed.
to his family from my family , we share your grief. He was a great man.
Sally Bowman
November 24, 2020
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Brendan Minihan
November 22, 2020
My deepest sympathy to the Gilbert Family for the loss of your loved one, Richard, "Quiet Thunder", and pray God gives you comfort, peace and strength.
November 20, 2020
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Cheryl Calletta
November 19, 2020
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Gregory Vizzi
November 19, 2020
I arranged for “Quiet Thunder” to speak to my class of third graders, plus several others, during the 1990s at Banneker Elementary in Milford, DE. His programs brought a new appreciation for the Lene Lenape life, through his explanations of hand made artifacts which he displayed as part of his presentations. Native American history came alive for the students and teachers alike.
Thank you for your gift of talent and outstanding contribution to the education of hundreds of students. My sincere sympathy to the family in your loss.
Ann Whitman
November 18, 2020
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.
Shirley Pritchett
November 18, 2020
My deepest condolences for your loss. I delivered meals to Mr. Gilbert daily for the past several months. He gave me periwinkle vines from his garden, which are now planted in mine and will be a reminder of his kindness.
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