26 March 2011

Birthday Bio -- Dad -- John Baptiste Gilbert III "Jack" 26 March 1915- 3 Aug 1999

left to right-- Jack, sister Betty, mother Willa Truman (Sale) Gilbert

Gilberts at Tahoe (every summer): l. to r. Grandma Kate (Kelly) Gilbert (literally, step-Grandma), Jack, unk woman, unk woman with toddler, cousin Annette (Elsie Annette Gilbert Braue), Auntie Kate (Kathryn Ruth Gilbert Kohn), Grandad (JBG I).

Jack around the time of WW II. Perhaps after he had graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in economics. Perhaps while he was working for Zellerbach Paper Company in San Francisco. They held his job for him during the years of war, then promoted him until eventually he was on the Board of Directors of Crown Zellerbach Paper Company and Senior Vice President of Marketing. His territory included all of the US and Canada.

Eventually the army would train him in the desert but send him to Attu, Alaska to a bloody battle, then teach him Chinese but send him to India to over see some reparations.
Lavinia Cresap and Jack married in her parents' living room on Piedmont Avenue in Berkeley while he was on a short leave from the army.  She would live with him in army quarters in Tyler, Texas and in Georgia before he posted to Attu.

After the war, with three children and one gestating, Jack and Vin bought in Orinda next door to a cricket pitch that Mr. Nye, an Englishman who lived in the house you see here had (later the Martins built on the cricket pitch).  They built a 900 square foot house with a beautiful view.

Little Jackie watched with pride as the house went up.  That's the 4th fairway of the Orinda Country Club beyond the outhouse.
What kind of car did he drive then? Anyone recognize the hood ornament?

900 square feet proved too small for a family of six so they made a living room out of the yard and added on a bedroom for themselves above the garage.

We drove around in that gorgeous Ford woodie or in the Model T we called Tillie that's parked in the garage.  And we had a tailless dog named Trixie who Uncle Bruce (Cresap) is talking to here.
Each summer included a week at Berkeley Tuolumne Camp and a back packing trek into the Sierra to fly fish and hike and gaze at the stars.

Occasionally Mom got a trip to the beach which she loved.

photo taken in patio of house where they spent their wartime honeymoon --  I think it was in Pismo Beach, but it might have been Pacific Grove.

clockwise from Jack on the left -- Jack, Mom, Dad, Tommy (called Cres since age 6), Joan, Vinnie (me)

A Christmas in the seventies -- photo taken at Jack and Dianne's in Orinda.
left to right:  
front -  Cres, Dad, Jack jr
standing -  Mom, Joan, Vinnie

We celebrated their 75th birthdays at a bash at the Orinda Country Club. Surrounded by their loving grandchildren and a host of good friends and extended family.

Katie Schwarz is between them with her arms around each of them.
from left to right behind them:
Debbie Gilbert, Kim Schwarz,  Jay Gilbert, Carson Gilbert, Dana Schwarz, Darcy Gilbert

Happy Birthday, Dad, wherever you are.

1 comment:

  1. Loved your parents' wedding photo. Nice to see the house through its early incarnations, wish the woody was still around.
    Had fun seeing everyone. In the photo at Pismo your mom looks like Kim and you look like Katie.
    Loved Darcy's dress with the bows, too. I have to say I am mighty glad that Cres no longer has a beard.
    What a great tribute! Thank you for posting it.
    Happy birthday Mr. Gilbert!


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