Age: 88

Stockbridge Patriarch, Remembered John Robert Gilbert, Jr., 88, died on Sunday, April 17, 2011. He was born in Stockbridge, to the late John Robert and Mattie Eunice Lamb Gilbert. Gilbert and his family have resided in Stockbridge for over 100 years. He graduated from McDonough High School, and attended Anderson Aircraft School in Nashville, Tenn. He worked at Consolidated Aircraft, San Diego, Calif., until he was drafted by the U.S. Army and took his oath of service in San Diego, in January, 1943. After training in Colorado and Texas, he became a member of the 604th Field Artillery Battalion, 10th Mountain Division. While serving in Italy, he earned a Bronze Star. He returned to Stockbridge after his honorable discharge in November, 1945. Returning home, he went into partnership at Moseley’s Garage, which he later owned. For 45 years, he owned Gilbert’s Garage, a Stockbridge landmark, known for its honest, reliable, service. He retired in 1986. The location of his garage is now the site of a park and fountain on the corner of East Atlanta Road and Highway 42, directly across from the Stockbridge City Hall. John has been a member of Stockbridge First Baptist Church since 1935, and became a deacon in 1955. Over the years, he has served as Sunday School Superintendent, member and chairman of the Finance Committee, and Treasurer. He was selected by the church as a “Living Legion.” He loved his church, and his wisdom and guidance will be greatly missed. Gardening was a passion, particularly tomatoes, green beans, and muscadines. All who knew him enjoyed his wonderful tomatoes, which he very generously gave away. He was an honorary member of the Stockbridge Garden Club, where he was always ready to help with every clubhouse need and club project. He and his wife, Margaret, volunteered for delivery of Meals on Wheels for more than 15 years. He also enjoyed traveling and Atlanta Braves baseball games. John’s first wife, of 41 years, Rebekah (Beck) Elliott, passed away in 1983. They had three sons, Bobby, Mike, and Mark. Bob and Judy have two children, Rob, who is married to Denise, and has children, Bobby and Jessie; Johnna, who is married to Todd Biles and has children Abigail, Shelby, and John. Mike and Sue have two children, Michael, who has a son, Garret, and stepson, Nick; Ginger, who is married to Stan Hughes, and has two sons, Chan and Max. Mark and Lynn have two children, Rebekah and Luke. Luke is married to Katie, and has a son, Walker. For nearly 27 years, John Gilbert has been married to Margaret Moore, who has two daughters, Gail and Connie. Gail is married to Rob Vaughn, and has two sons, Robby and Joey. Connie has a daughter, Brinkley. John was preceded in death by a brother, Louie, and brother-and sister-in-law, Charles and Linda. He is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Louise and Bill Miller, and sister-in-law, Frances, and numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held April 19, 11 a.m., at the Stockbridge First Baptist Church, with the Rev. Steve Murrel, and the Rev. Reed Benson officiating. Interment will follow at Fairview Memorial Cemetery. The family received friends Monday, April 18, from 4 p.m., to 8 p.m., at the funeral home. The family suggests donations in memory of PaPa John be made to Stockbridge First Baptist Church, 4566 North Henry Boulevard, Stockbridge, Ga., 30281. Those who wish, may sign the online guest registry at www.cannonclevelandfunerals.com. Cannon Cleveland Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements, (770) 914-1414.