Gilbert VanBuren Wilkes III
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New Haven - Rev. Gilbert Van Buren Wilkes III "Father Gil", 76, of New Haven, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 20, 2014, at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

He was born June 18, 1938, in Charlotte, N.C., to the late Gilbert Van Buren Jr. and Elizabeth (Johnson) Wilkes.

Father Gil graduated from General William Moultrie High School in 1956 and was student council president his senior year. He served in the USMC reserves from 1955 to 1961 and was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1961. He attended nuclear power training and submarine school. He served on the USS Halibut, USS Lewis & Clarke and the USS Flying Fish. He was the first commanding officer of the USS Cincinnati from 1977 to 1981. He retired from the Navy in 1986 as commodore of Comsubron Two.

He graduated from Yale Divinity School and was ordained to the deaconate and the priesthood in 1992. He served as curate at Bishop Seabury Church, Groton, and rector for 12 years at Christ and the Epiphany Church, East Haven. He was rector of Christ Church Anglican in Branford for five years until he retired in 2013.

Father Gil is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Pam (Caples) Wilkes; and two children, Gilbert Wilkes IV (Alicia) of Victoria, B.C. and Julia O'Connell (Sean) of Pittsburgh, Pa. Father Gil is also survived by four grandchildren, Lia and Oran Wilkes and Violet and Emmett O'Connell; and one brother, Marshall Wilkes (Jane) of Mt. Pleasant, S.C. He is also survived by his faithful canine companion, Lulu.

Family will receive friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 18, 2014, at the Clancy Funeral Home, 43 Kirkham Ave., East Haven. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 19, 2014, in the Christ Church Anglican, 965 W. Main St., Branford. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, please make donation in memory of Father Gilbert Wilkes to Christ Church Anglican (Outreach Fund), 965 W. Main St., Branford, CT 06405; CANA East (Convocation of Anglicans in North America), 6731 Curran St., McLean, VA 22101; Sullivan County SPCA, P.O. Box 995, Rock Hill, NY 12775.

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Published in The Day on Jul. 6, 2014.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
July 30, 2014
Please accept my deepest condolences for the passing of Commander Wilkes. I served under him as a plank owner on the USS Cincinnati. I remember him as a man deeply concerned about his crew and his boat. To this day right next to my bed I still have the Bible that he signed and presented me when I made E6. The captain was the only person I've known or even seen with both submarine dolphins and parachute jump wings. BZ.
Glen P. Stromme
Houston, TX
Glen Stromme
July 16, 2014
Such fond memories of Fr. Gil while I was a parishioner at Bishop Seabury Church. He was truly a kind soul and a great spiritual leader. May you be comforted in knowing that he resides with Our Heavenly Father now and forever. Until we meet again. You will be missed Fr. Gil.
With deepest sympathy,
Val O'Brien
July 15, 2014
To the Wilkes Family,

On behalf of the Charleston Base SUBVETS and Swamp Fox Chapter SUBVETS WWII, I offer you our sincere condolences on Gil's passing. We grieve with you on the loss of your loved one and all SUBVETS and their families have your family in our thoughts and prayers. There is no expiration date on the back of our dolphins and Gil will always be remembered as a “Brother of the Phin” and a great Patriot.

Father Gilbert Vanburen Wilkes III
US Navy Submarine Veteran Retired
Now on Eternal Patrol
Sailor Rest Your Oar
Your Shipmates Have The Watch

Fair Winds and Following Seas Shipmate

Charleston Base Submarine Veterans
Nick Nichols, Base Chaplain
Nick Nichols
July 11, 2014
God Bless and keep you Fr. Gil. I will always cherish your influence in my spiritual walk while a parishioner at BSC. You will be greatly missed.

Rest peacefully,
Laura Tompkins
July 7, 2014
Pam, We are shocked and saddened by Gil's passing. Time seems to get away from us at an increasing speed, and we regret not being able to reconnect in recent years. Our prayers are with you,and we wish you the best in the weeks and months ahead. Much love, Sue and Sam Ward
Sibley Ward
July 6, 2014
My sympathies to the Wilkes family. I knew him when serving at the Groton, CT
Carl Dahlman USN Ret.
July 6, 2014
Dear Pam, My heart breaks for you on reading of the death of Gil. He ws a special man. A man who never waiverd from what he belived..So many happy memories also from the past when life was less complicated.." the click of the clam", " I love the club" " Go staight till the road ends" . And so much more.
You were dear friends from the past and helped make a certain time in our lives special.
All of Gods tender love to you , Julie and young Gilbert at this most difficult time.
July 2, 2014
My deepest condolences on the passing of my commanding officer. I have fond memories of long talks in the wardroom of the Cincinnati. He taught me about the consequences of your actions and how important it is to make decisions based on the best information available to you. I have carried these lessons with me and will always have fond memories of your husband and father.
Tom Roth
July 2, 2014
I was lucky to have served under Capt. Wilkes while on the Cincinnati. He was a great leader and skipper. He will be missed.
Michael Pajewski
June 29, 2014
Father Wilkes, Thank you for your outstanding service. May you now go with fair winds and a following sea.
Robert Lillis, U.S.N.
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