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 www.torbertfuneral.com