Obituary: Reading Resident Passes Away at 101 Years Old

The local man was a member of the Dartmouth College Class of 1934.

Jack Gilbert of Reading died at 101 years old.
Jack Gilbert of Reading died at 101 years old.
The following is an Obituary from Douglass Edgerley and Bessom

John Edwin “Jack” Gilbert of Reading peacefully passed away at the age of 101 on December 6, 2013 at Sunrise at Gardner Park in Peabody. He was the beloved husband of the late Jane (Winsor) Gilbert and the late Gretchen (Jackson) Gilbert.

He brought up two children and 5 stepchildren putting them all through school and never missing a football game, recital, graduation, school play, etc. He is survived by all 7 loving children; John W. Gilbert of Troy, MI, Deborah Gilbert of Beverly, Tom Jackson of Medway, Tim Jackson of Marlborough, Gretchen Jackson of Woburn, James Jackson of Seattle, WA and Mike Jackson of Ithaca, NY.

Jack also has 13 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Jack attended Exeter Academy and then graduated in the class of 1934 at Dartmouth College with a degree in Sociology. During the summer he tutored various pupils including the daughter and stepson of the great John Barrymore.

While at Dartmouth he joined the Barbary Coast Band as a lead pianist and toured with them to 27 cities in 13 countries. This included Cuba during its heyday with the bands in full swing. His love of music continued by writing scores and singing for 36 years with the group, “Two-By-Fours”. He also played piano with Jimmy Dorsey, Glen Gray of Casa Loma to name a few and most recently with the North Shore Ramblers even at the age of 100!

This was all a hobby as he worked full time in Boston as an insurance executive. He loved spending summers at the family cottage in Maine. His cousin, Bob Pilsbury, a well-known jazz pianist as well, plays with the Black Eagle Band.

Jack’s aunt, Frances Pilsbury, lived to 108 years old and was the first female accepted to MIT though she ended up at Simmons College. Funeral services and burial are private by the request of the family.


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