Virginia Evelyn Sass Gilbert
1928 - 2021
Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home - Ocean Springs
911 Porter Avenue
Ocean Springs, MS
Virginia Evelyn Sass Gilbert
April 24, 1928 - January 10, 2021
Ocean Springs, Mississippi - Virginia Evelyn Sass Gilbert, "Mama", "Jean", "Granny", "Big Gran", age 92, passed peacefully on January 10, 2021 surrounded by her children at her home in Ocean Springs, Mississippi ending her lengthy journey with lung cancer. She was the fifth child born to parents who immigrated to the United States as young children from Germany, Frederick August Sass and Johanna Marzolph Sass. She spent the earlier part of her life in her birthplace, Chicago, Illinois, attending Norman A. Bridge Elementary School and graduating in the top 10% of the 1946 class of Steinmetz High School. She was a member of the National Honor Society, and her faculty comments on her Senior page stated that she was "a culinary artist keen with the needles and a business woman" – two qualities that proved to be invaluable to her in later life. Upon graduation, she was employed as a claim check typist for a local insurance agency. In 1948, she relocated with her parents to Biloxi to escape the harsh Chicago winters and be near her sister's family whose husband had been reassigned to newly established Keesler AFB. She worked at the Borden Milk Company as a clerk creating delivery tickets. She met and fell in love with the "boy from across the street", Charles E. Gilbert, Sr. with whom she shared her life for the next sixty-two years.
A mom to nine, she was a dedicated mother first and foremost. She treasured her children and embraced every moment with them. From the time she held her first born until she held her last great- grandchild, a child always brought a smile to her face! Raising a large family during the 1950's and 1960's presented challenges, and she always found creative ways to make the food dollar stretch as far as it could. A few more hot dogs in the spaghetti or another cup of dried beans in the pot always ensured that there would be plenty for everyone to eat! She learned how to sew, knit, and crochet at an early age from her live-in grandmother, and she utilized her gift to make clothes and quilts, knit sweaters, and crochet afghans for all of her family. Her legacy was to be remembered as the "Grandmother Who Made Things". She used her talents as one of the ladies that belonged to the First Baptist Church Sew N Sow for many years to bless families with hats, socks, and blankets in the church, as well as worldwide.
She was of the Catholic faith and attended services at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Gautier, MS, as well as St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Ocean Springs, MS. She was a member of the Perpetual Adoration Society and volunteered in the church's clothing bank.
Even though she left Chi town many, many years ago, she was an ardent Cubs fan who enjoyed cheering for her team! She was an avid reader, a tenacious scrabble player who was not shy to tell you to "pick up your phone and check to see if it's a word if you don't believe me". Words with Friends matches were ongoing with people from all parts of the United States. ZOOM meetings and Facetime kept her in touch with her great-grandbabies and loved ones, necessitated by the COVID pandemic.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and siblings, Julia (William) Ankerholtz, Fred (Grace) Sass, Frank (Jane) Sass, and Joanne (Dudley) Eager; and her beloved daughter-in-law, Cindy Lovett Gilbert.
She is survived by her children, Charlotte (John) Hurt, Lorain (Carl Jude) Fontana, Charles, Jr. "Buddy" (Robin) Gilbert, James Gilbert, Steve (Meg) Gilbert, Holly (Trex) Morris, Louis (Ann) Gilbert, Dewey (Susan) Gilbert, and Julie (Chris) Metcalf; grandchildren, Michael (Lauren Cowell) Hurt, Erin (Brad) Robbins, Charles, III (Jonna) Gilbert, Nicholas (Kristi) Gilbert, Brandon Moseley (Charlie Nickens), Brandon (Jennifer) Morris, Cameron (Emily) Morris, Hunter (Anna) Gilbert, Amanda (Josh) Clawson, Raymond (Ashlyn) Gilbert, Emily Gilbert, Taylor Metcalf, and Reid Metcalf; great-grandchildren, Ashly (Dustin) Beech, Bryan Hurt, Emma Robbins, Addison Gilbert, Gaven Folkes, Brookelynn and Charles, IV "Beau" Gilbert, Brent and Makinzee Gilbert, Becca and Hudson Morris, Bennett, Jack, and Charlie Morris, Baker Clawson, Tilda Gilbert, Adalynn and Grayson Gilbert; great- great-grandchild, Macie Graham; and "always one of my girls" Jeannie Sides Bean.
Private services will be held Saturday, January 16, 2021 at Southern Memorial Park, Biloxi, MS. Entombment will follow the services. The Ocean Springs Chapel of Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve the Gilbert family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital,, in her name.
The family would like to extend their appreciation for the care extended by Dr. James Clarkson and Dr. Shawn French during her illness. A very special thank you to the staff of Hospice of Light, especially Zai Stennis and Natasha Owen, for their respectful and caring treatment, understanding, and support.
"Yes, mama; those babies were fed".
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Published by The Sun Herald on Jan. 14, 2021.
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Southern Memorial Park
Biloxi, MS
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3 Entries
The Gilberts were neighbors around the corner and I went to school with James and Steve- We lived in a great neighborhood and our moms made it so- So sorry for the loss of your Mom- I remember her from those days. Uplifting Prayers for you all-
Laurie Broome Shields
January 14, 2021
Aunt jean was a lovely woman she will be miss and loved by many. Sorry for your lose
Sandra ( gilbert ) Adkins
January 13, 2021
We extend our sincere sympathy and value your trust during this time of remembrance and reflection. We pledge our support now and in the future.
The Staff and Management of Bradford O'Keefe Funeral Homes
January 14, 2021
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