On March 29, 2020, in his 104th year, Stuart Kerr Gilbert of Rhinebeck NY, nicknamed Tiny Tim due to his small stature as a child, passed away. He is survived by his wife, Susanna Davies Gilbert of Rhinebeck, NY and his children: Chris Gilbert of Red Hook, NY, Linda Gilbert of Longview, Washington and Stuart Gilbert of Eagle River, Alaska. Preceding Tim in death were his daughter Susan Gilbert, his brothers Sykes, Bill and Charles, his first wife Marcia Miller Gilbert and his parents Rufus and Ethel Gilbert of Dorset Vermont.
He covered lots of territory during his long life from his childhood in Dorset, Vermont to Naval Aviator, apple grower, banker, sheep farmer and retiree, and was active until his death. He rode his bike and drove his car until his late 90's. Most of his family knew him during his farming/banking/farming and retiree years but no friends or family are old enough to remember his WWII war years. Tim flew the Lockheed PV-1 Ventura, an anti submarine patrol bomber, which became available during early 1943. He was an instructor pilot with the first squadron of PV-1s, VB-127, which was commissioned on 1 February 1943 at NAS DeLand Florida. VB-127 completed operational training in May, 1943, and was deployed to Brazil on its way to Port Lyautey, French Morocco. From Port Lyautey Tim flew patrols protecting the convoy shipping lanes leading to the Straits of Gibraltar. Until the late 1990s VB-127 held an annual squadron reunion, of which Tim wanted no part. The reunion was held until the last member died according to a post by the daughter of one of the members. Tims copilot known as “Casey” Stangle, retired as a hardware store owner in Burlington, Vt., where he had lived until his death, according to Tim.
Family and friends are saddened to experience his passing even though 104 is a huge number. We are grateful to have known him.
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