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.www.ClancyFuneralHome.com