James Jay Gilbert Jr. (Jim) was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 25, 1933. He died, July 28, 2020 and was 86 years old. He was the son of James J. Gilbert and Eva Mae (Bonnett).
Jim grew up in the downtown neighborhoods of Cleveland and graduated from East High School. Following high school he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served his country during the Korean War. After boot camp at Paris Island, Jim received training at Camp Lejeune and then was stationed at the Philadelphia Naval Yard serving as MP. As the US became further involved in the Korean Conflict, Jim was transferred to Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California for combat training and then was deployed to Korea. He served with the brave men of George Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. George Company fought in the final, decisive battle of the Korean War that took place on a strategic mountain range nicknamed Boulder City, just above the 38th Parallel. It was here that the Marines stopped the advancement of the North Koreans and the Communist Chinese armies until an armistice was finally signed.

After returning to the states in 1953, Jim continued his studies at John Carroll University. In 1958 he married Barbara (Bonnie) Jenne. Jim worked at the White Motor Company as a computer operator and Barbara worked both at home, raising five children, and as an office manager and seamstress.

Jim had a passion for baseball and played many pick-up games growing up in the streets of Cleveland Ohio. In high school, he was a second baseman and batted lefty. His greatest baseball joy was watching the Cleveland Indians. He marveled at watching baseball greats like Larry Doby, Satchel Paige, Bob Lemon and Iowa's Bob Feller. Jim had a sharp wit and astonishing grasp of world and religious history, which he loved to apply to the daily New York Times crossword puzzles.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and one daughter, Laura Simpson. He is survived by his children Jim Gilbert (Kim) of Grinnell, Iowa, Judy Border (Rick) of Des Moines, Iowa, Cindy Gilbert of Seattle, Washington, and Scott Gilbert of New Haven, Connecticut, twelve grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Jim's remains will be interred (along with his wife) at the Iowa Veteran's Cemetery in a private family ceremony August 10, 2020.
Memorials can be sent to: James Gilbert Jr. Memorial Fund, Great Western Bank, Grinnell, Iowa 50112.

Service Details

Monday, August 10, 2020
Private Family Service
Iowa Veterans Cemetery
Van Meter, Iowa
Hamilton's Funeral Home
605 Lyon Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
(515) 243-5221

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