March 16, 1947 - November 13, 2018
Col. (Ret.) Barry E. Gilbert Obituary On the evening of November 13, 2018, Barry E. Gilbert, beloved husband and father of four, died at the age of 71 in his hometown of Marion, Kentucky. Barry was born on March 16, 1947, in Marion, Kentucky, that part of western Kentucky he would later to describe to anyone he met as God’s Country. He distinguished himself here at an early age through a number of memorable events at Fohs Hall School. In first grade, his teacher had left the room, creating a leadership vacuum. At the urging of his classmates, he assumed that leadership position, and determined that everyone should leave. When he pulled the fire alarm, he evacuated the entire school. Another memorable event occurred on his 10th birthday, when he invited everyone in his class to his home for a birthday party…without alerting his parents beforehand. He led his singing band of friends marching to his home on College Street where his surprised mother scolded the birthday boy—but she also ran to the store for ice cream and treats. Barry distinguished himself as a professional through his devotion to his country. As a member of the KY Army National Guard, he served for 29 years in Armories in Hopkinsville, Marion, Paducah, Louisville, and Frankfort. As a full-time Guardsman, he spent many weekends a month and many months a summer leading training exercises and maneuvers with the Armored Battalion. Twice he trained with units on the West Germany-East Germany border. His commitment to excellence and hard work drove him to lead by example, and he gained the trust of anyone who worked with him by never asking anyone to do anything he himself would not do. By the time of his retirement from active duty, he had achieved the rank of Colonel, served as the state Director of Surface Maintenance, sat on several national committees, and earned numerous Awards for Meritorious Service, Commendation, and Achievement. For most of the last 40 years, his homes had flagpoles, and those flagpoles flew both the national and state flags. Barry distinguished himself as an adult through his devotion to his family. His love and adoration for his parents and sisters brought him joy in childhood and inspired him as he and his wife Patty “PJ” started their own family. From their first date 50 years ago at the 88 Dip, through the numerous places they have lived, to fulfilling his lifelong dream of building a home on his family farm, they loved and adored each other and their children, persevering through good times and bad. If success is to be measured in the quality of the world one leaves for the next generation, then Barry and Patty have been wildly successful, raising children and grandchildren who are just as marvelous, just as hard-working, just as creative, and just as attractive as their parents. Barry distinguished himself in “retirement” in so many ways. He served as City Administrator for the City of Marion, and worked for a time at Henry & Henry. He spent time driving members of the Amish community around the area, and loved sharing their jokes and stories. As a jolly old elf stepping in when Santa himself was unavailable, he donned the red and white uniform, tossing candy from the tops of fire trucks in local parades, and listening intently to children’s requests for the holidays. On Sunday mornings, he enjoyed serving as a Greeter at Marion Baptist Church, checking in on friends and neighbors. For many years, he organized and orchestrated a variety of patriotic services for the community, honoring and celebrating veterans. Every morning he would call his sister Judy, and every week he would call his children. He remembered birthdays and anniversaries, sending cards and calling to “punish” you with his singing. Although he loved his family, he held a special place in his heart for his father’s Ford tractor, his own ’57 Chevy two-door hardtop, the Kentucky Wildcats, many baseball caps and walking sticks and all things chocolate including his faithful Chocolate Lab Lucy. Barry’s infectious laugh and outgoing personality will be sorely missed. He loved joking with the few people older than himself, and was always enjoyed pointing out when he was the oldest person in the room. He adored small children, and jokingly pretended he could never remember their names. He enjoyed the company of others, and laughed loudest on his senior bus tours. He felt the importance of comforting others, and took seriously his role “working the door” at Gilbert Funeral Home, greeting everyone with a warm open spirit. And for those who always ask, the Gilberts of Gilbert Funeral Home are good friends, but no relation. Barry’s friends and family had a startlingly wide range of nicknames and honors they bestowed upon him, including, but not limited to, Butch, Pop, Staaaanley, Pap-paw, Uncle Barry, Duke of Paducah, Kentucky Colonel, Honorary Captain of the Belle of Louisville, and Honorary Knight of the Order of St. George. He was a very gracious host, and though he was very protective of his “toys”, he opened his home during the recent Solar Eclipse to a small platoon of friends and strangers from Louisville and Lexington—he even had enough room in his heart to let UofL fans spend the night. He will be sorely missed and is survived by his beloved wife Patty “PJ” (Perryman) Gilbert, cherished sister Judy (Gilbert) McDowell, children: Don/Misty Gilbert, Chris/Helga Gilbert, Wendy Gilbert, and Fred Gilbert, grandchildren: Nick, Luke, Anna, and Isabel, nieces: Angela McDowell and Rita (Armstrong) Schuessel, cherished pet: Lucy, and granddogs: Roscoe, Sophie, and Felix. He was preceded in death by his dear parents Crawford and Anna Gilbert, loving sister Barbara (Gilbert) Armstrong, and dear niece Pamela (McDowell) Tindell. Services are scheduled for 2 PM Sunday November 18, 2018 at Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion, KY. with interment in Mapleview Cemetery. The family will receive visitors from 5-8 PM Saturday at the funeral home. While flowers are appreciated, the family asks that donations be made to the Mapleview Cemetery or to the Mary Hall Ruddiman Canine Shelter, both located in Marion, Kentucky.
Col. (Ret.) Barry E. Gilbert Obituary On the evening of November 13, 2018, Barry E. Gilbert, beloved husband and father of four, died at the age of 71 in his hometown of Marion, Kentucky. Barry was born on March 16, 1947, in Marion, Kentucky,... View Obituary & Service Information
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Col. (Ret.) Barry E. Gilbert
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