John W. Gilbert, 95 died at 9:03 a.m. July 22, 2011 at Blanchard Valley Hospital, Findlay. He was born Sept. 5, 1915 in Orange Township, Hancock County, Ohio to Melvin Leo and Nellie Gail (Beagle) Gilbert. On April 28, 1940 he married Ruth V. Cunningham and she died Feb. 6, 2007.
He was a farmer in Hancock County until 1950. He had worked at Triplett Electrical Instrument Company, Bluffton where he was a plant manager. He also worked for Breece and Yeasel in Jackson Center, Ohio and in 1976 incorporated his own molding business known as Associated Plastics in Pandora.
He was a member of the Bluffton Presbyterian Church, Bluffton Lion's Club, Bluffton Sportsmen's Club, Bluffton Garden Club, Bluffton Kiwanis Club, Bluffton Mason's where he was a past master, Antioch Shrine, Dayton, Bluffton Businessmen's Association, the American Legion Post 382, Bluffton.
He was a "home spun inventor" who was very clever with his hands and a practical joker who enjoyed making other people laugh. He was a World War II European Theatre veteran of the U.S. Army. He was in the 82nd Airborne, was in the Battle of the Bulge and received a Purple Heart. He graduated in 1934 from Rawson High School.
Survivors include a daughter Karen Olivia (David) Bash of Auburn, Ind.; three grandchildren Tamela Sue (partner Laura Calkins) Bash of Dayton, Eric John (partner Brett Tarnutzer) Bash of Washington, D.C. and Danielle Renee Bash of Amman, Jordan; a great granddaughter Kaitlin Renee Kiser of Dayton, and a special friend Alice Bucher of Ada.
He was preceded in death by three brothers James Gilbert, Robert Gilbert and Donald Eugene Gilbert; and two sisters Justina George and Ruth Rader.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday July 27, 2011 at Chiles-Laman Funeral and Cremation Services, Bluffton. Rev. Lew VanderNaald and Chaplain William Herr officiating.
Burial will be in Thompson Cemetery, Bluffton where military rites will be held. Visitation will be Tuesday from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home.Memorial contributions may be made to Mennonite Memorial Home or the Bluffton Presbyterian Church. Condolences may be expressed at www.chiles-lamanfh.com