Jarden Henry “J.H.” Gilbert passed away suddenly Friday, August 13, 2021 and is finally at peace after ten years of “living” with Alzheimer’s disease. Jarden was born April 26, 1934 to Viola Frances and John William Gilbert in El Paso, Texas, the family later lived in Arkansas. Jarden had a hearing disability from a young age, so he learned to speak words just as he heard them, creating his infamous unique dialect. His hearing disability also prevented him from being drafted into the military, so he decided to follow the oil, and moved north to work on the oil rigs in Cut Bank. While here, he met & dated Jean Carole McRae. They were married on January 22, 1957 in Cut Bank. Together they had five children, Eddie, Joanne, Mark, Dean and Dave.
Jarden had a very strong work ethic, he took pride in his work and providing for his family. After the oil fields, he learned carpentry from his father-in-law, Bill McCrae and later worked for Dallas Smith. Apparently, he was a good student and they taught him well, because Jarden was remarkable in his trade. Mark was blessed to have worked beside and learn from his father for years. There are many houses and buildings in and around Cut Bank that are better built because of his knowledge and precision of construction.
Although it seemed like Jarden was all work and no play, the family has happy memories of loading up in the car and going to Glacier National Park, picnicking, and enjoying nature. Jarden also loved working in his garden. He put as much passion into his plants as he did his construction. The grandkids have fond memories of picking raspberries with Grandpa Jarden in his immense raspberry patch. Their bellies and buckets full, they’d proudly show off their harvest. I’m not sure who’s smiles were bigger, the kids’ or Grandpa Jarden’s. Even in the nursing home when it was harder to get a response from Jarden, visiting grandchildren and great grandchildren always seemed to bring out the best in him. Jarden would also allow time in his busy schedule to watch a good western or more likely some pro wrestling. He could be heard laughing throughout the house if it was a particularly good match.
Besides his family, Jarden had many friends that he enjoyed spending time with. He and his coffee buddies would sit around solving the world’s problems and inevitably at some point you’d hear Jarden’s laughter ring out loud and clear. Alzheimer’s took Jarden from us years ago, Jean became more suspicious that something was up when Jarden started repairing and replacing things around the house that weren’t broken. He was a hard worker to the end and can now be at peace but has probably already tried to make some sort of repairs on the pearly gates. Although Jarden wasn’t a religious man, he had a good heart and was helpful to many. We have no doubt that he’s been reunited with his family and had big hugs for his boys when he arrived.
Jarden is survived by his wife, Jean; daughter, Joanne Gilbert; sons, Mark (Nancy) Gilbert and David Gilbert; grandchildren, Jennifer (Mike) Way, Courtney (Andrew) Hanson, and Nicholas Gilbert; great grandchildren, Abby Oswald, Isabella and Haylee Wenzl and Russell, Grant and Drew Hanson; brother, Harvey Gilbert; sister, Nadean Houghton; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father; brother, J.W. Gilbert; sisters, Shara Gilbert, Frances Gilbert, Elda Lee Finch, and Shirley Reagan; and his beloved sons, Edward Jarden Gilbert and Carl Dean Gilbert.
A memorial service will be 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 25, at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Cut Bank.
Jarden was loved and will be missed by many.