Harold Francis 'Harry' Gilbert, 82
Harold Francis “Harry” Gilbert — a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and pillar of the New Hampton community — passed away peacefully on May 4, 2023, at the age of 82.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at Holy Family Parish in New Hampton with the Rev. Jim Goerend celebrating the Mass. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery in New Hampton with Jerod Gilbert, Scott Anderson, Steve Gilbert, Gerard Shekleton, Dwayne Gilbert, and Randy Gilbert serving as pallbearers.
Friends may greet the family from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in New Hampton, where there will be a 7 p.m. Parish Scripture Service. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass on Wednesday at the church.
Born on May 20, 1940, the son of Henry and Amalia (Glaser) Gilbert, near North Washington, Harry lived a life full of love, laughter, and service to others.
Harry attended grade school in North Washington and went on to attend New Hampton High School, graduating in 1957. He proudly served his country in the United States Air Force as a missile technician from 1961 to 1962, stationed in Texas, Illinois and Nebraska.
On July 28, 1962, he married the love of his life, Patricia Ann Troyna, at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Ionia. The couple met at Pat’s sister’s wedding dance in Lawler and shared a love that lasted over six decades.
As the owner and operator of Gilbert Towing and Radiator, Harry was known for his kindness and generosity. He once rescued a mother and her young son in the middle of a winter storm and invited her to join his family for Christmas Eve because she had nowhere else to go. Work was his hobby, and he was committed to helping others in their time of need.
Harry’s dedication to his community extended far beyond his business. He served as the mayor of New Hampton from 1975 to 1986, working tirelessly to improve the lives of its residents.
As a member of the Jaycees, he held the positions of local and state vice president and received numerous local and national awards for his service. His commitment to public service also led him to join the volunteer fire department, where he selflessly served alongside his fellow firefighters.
In his free time, Harry enjoyed golfing with his regular foursome on Wednesday nights during the summer months. He loved the camaraderie and friendly competition it brought each week.
He cherished moments spent playing cards with his family and close friends, as well as dancing to polka music. Harry had a fondness for a good slice of apple pie and took pleasure in traveling and visiting different museums. This interest in exploration led to his love for maps, often studying them and quizzing others about their geography.
Harry will be remembered for his kind and friendly nature, always willing to lend a helping hand or share a laugh with those around him. His legacy of love, service, and devotion to his family.
Harry is survived by his wife of 60 years, Patricia of New Hampton; two daughters, Christine (Scott) Anderson of Seattle, annd Lisa Gilbert of Ames; one son, Al (Cindy) Gilbert of New Hampton; one grandson, Jerod (Mandy) Gilbert of New Hampton; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and six siblings — Mary Ann (Pat) Shekleton, Agnes (Virgil) Lentz, Marceille (Herb) Christoph, Norbert (June) Gilbert, Alvin (Patricia) Gilbert and Doris (Louis) Haskovec.