Kenneth (Kenny) Maynard Gilbert
A great man left us……
The world lost a gem on Monday, November 25th when Kenny Gilbert passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family. He was a friendly and humorous soul, never missing an opportunity to joke with anybody and everybody whether he knew them or not. He had an insatiable curiosity and as a result, was a life-long learner who self-taught himself many trades.
Kenny loved and doted on the love of his life, Betty, for 72 years. They started with next to nothing, but with a strong work ethic, common sense, a sprinkle of stubbornness, and true love, they built a successful business, raised four kids, and spent decades traveling together.
Kenny was a great father and even better grandfather - always playful, and the best pancake and donut maker the world ever did see. He was a prankster extraordinaire, and will be remembered for his playful quick wit, his kind loving heart, and that infamous glass eye that played a role in many of his pranks. We’re grateful God gave him to us for the short time he did, and we’ll cherish our memories with him forever!
Kenny was born on June 4, 1929, in Chinook, Montana, to Emma Bertha Talmon Gilbert and Millard Glasco Gilbert. He was the 13th child out of 14 siblings. The family moved often as they were sharecroppers, and Kenny started his education in Harlem, Montana where he met his eventual wife, Elizabeth (Betty) Ann Fitzsimmons, in the first grade. After his father passed away in 1943, Kenny decided he had enough formal education and he ventured out into the working world to help support his mother and siblings remaining at home.
Kenny and Betty were married on November 30, 1947 and started their family. Kenny worked several jobs in the Chester area that were parts-related and eventually opened his own auto parts store in 1960, which he operated until he retired and sold it in 1996. During these years he participated in the Lions Club, Milk River Good Sams, Quartzsite Metal Detector Club. On April 11, 1998, Kenny was baptized into the Catholic Church. He and Betty were members of the Queen of Peace Church in Quartzsite, Arizona, where they were snowbirds for several years.
Kenny was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Zella (Flossie), Lucy, Charles, Andrew, Elsie, Lewis, Sarah Louisa (Nane), Quentin, John, Calvin, Gaylord and son, John. He is survived by his wife Betty, daughters Karen Mattson, Keila Gilbert-Connelly (Joe) and son Jim (Jeri), sisters Lilly Kretchmer and Iris Hay. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren Kent Mattson (Kira), Mindy Hubbard (Nick), Lacee Lalum (Damon), Bradley Gilbert, Skylar Gilbert, Colter Gilbert, Calvin Gilbert, Kevin Gilbert, Jeremy Coyle, Marisol Gilbert and Leidy Gilbert along with 8 great grandchildren Bridger Mattson, Tiber Mattson, Kiva Mattson, Giavanna Lynch, Wrigley Lalum, Rylee Lalum, Morgan Hubbard and Cannon Hubbard.
A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, July 11, at 2PM at St. Mary Catholic Church in Chester.
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Hi-Line Health Foundation
PO Box 705, Chester MT 59522