In Memoriam: Helen L. Gilbert

Staff Report

Helen L. Gilbert, 86, of Loves Park, died at 4:55 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, in Rockford Memorial Hospital from injuries received from a fall in her home. Born Feb. 17, 1925, in Escanaba, Mich., daughter of James and Edith Burgo Powers. Graduated from St. Anthony Hospital School of Nursing in 1946 and worked as a registered nurse in the St. Anthony emergency room, ICU and the polio ward. She also was a school nurse in the Harlem School District. Married Louis R. Gilbert in Escanaba Sept. 4, 1948. She was a long-time member of St. Bridget Catholic Church, where the Gilberts were one of the first parish families. For more than 30 years, she was a consultant for Doncaster Clothing and for many years was a member of the President’s Circle and one of the top Doncaster consultants in the U.S. Helen was very active in the community and church organizations. She was a member of Catholic Women’s League, Caritas, St. Anthony Auxiliary and Provena St. Anne Auxiliary. She previously had been involved with activities with the Law Wives and was on the MetroCentre Board of Directors, a member of the University Club and the Quota Club. She was a lifelong tennis player, an avid bridge player, and, in addition to her family, one of the most important parts of her life for more than 50 years was her pot luck crowd and, more recently, her breakfast group.

Survivors include her children, Michael Gilbert, Patricia Wallis, Mary Mathis and John (Diantha) Gilbert; grandchildren, Erin Castrejon, Louis Gilbert, Emily Gilbert, Sean Gilbert and Ellen Gilbert; great-granddaughter, Tia Castrejon and numerous nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her husband Oct. 26, 1994, her parents and four sisters.

Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, in St. Bridget Catholic Church with the Rev. Paul Lipinski officiating. Burial in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, in Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, Riverside Chapel, 3910 N. Rockton Ave., with a Rosary to be recited at 7:30 p.m. Visitation also from 10 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. at the church on Friday. Express condolences and share memories at

From the Nov. 16-22, 2011, issue

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