John F.'s Story

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John Frank Gilbert, Jr., passed away on Friday, October 13, in his hometown of Marblehead, Mass., surrounded by loved ones. John was born in Quincy, Mass., on January 27, 1929, to John Gilbert and Anna Gilbert (Wheelock), both of Marblehead. John is survived by his brother, Elbridge Gerry Gilbert; and four sons, John (Jeff) Gilbert III, Bradley James Gilbert, Mark Stevens Gilbert and Kevin Tansey. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, one great-granddaughter, and a large number of cousins, nieces and nephews. He is also survived by the love of his life, his dog, Belle. John was preceded in death by both his parents and his sisters, Helen Jones and Jackie Jackson, both of Marblehead.
John was a gifted athlete and musician who, after mandatory military service and a long career in sales management, found his true vocation as a charter pilot, where he blended his passion for music and airplanes by flying famous rock groups like Bon Jovi and Metallica to concert venues throughout the south. In a few short years, starting in his fifties, John went from beginner lessons to holding a commercial jet license. He had a remarkable aptitude for change and adventure as evidenced by his long list of interests which include professional ski instructor, high school, college, and pro football quarterback, offshore captain’s license, and home building. John was also a husband to two remarkable women -- Junia Kennedy (Dunham) of Swampscott, Mass., and Jan Gilbert (Michel) of Louisville, Ky. Both are still living.
Services for John will be held at the Dr. Arland A. Dirlam Chapel in Waterside Cemetery, 294 West Shore Drive, Marblehead, on Friday, October 27, at 11 a.m. Burial to immediately follow. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Lafayette, 25 Lafayette St., Marblehead, MA 01945. Arrangements by Eustis and Cornell of Marblehead. To share a memory of John or to offer a condolence to his family, please visit www.eustisandcornellfuneralhome.com.
Published on  October 20, 2017
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