William Gilbert | Obituary

June 21, 1936 – April 26, 2022

Bill passed peacefully in his Sammamish home on April 26, 2022 surrounded by his caregivers and family. He was born in Gunnison Colorado because Crested Butte had no hospital. His father ran The Company Store for the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. When he was 13, the family moved to Pueblo Colorado where he lived until he graduated early from Centennial High School.

Bill attended the University of Colorado (Boulder) where he was ROTC in the Aeronautical Engineering Program. He met his wife Helena Mina Case on the first day of his sophomore year. He described seeing this phenomenon approaching him in the front of his dorm clad in a full grey wool suit, grey hat with red feather. She inquired, “sir, do you know where the Health Clinic is?” To which he replied, “it’s a long way on this hot day in August, I will give you a ride.”

They were married 2 years later. Helena was teaching school in Denver, commuting from Boulder. Bill stayed an additional year in Boulder and received his MBA. His first son was born the month he graduated and he was off a couple of weeks later to fulfill his ROTC duty at Fort Leonard Wood in Rolla Missouri. Son Bob was born eleven months later and was soon transferred to Belvor in Fairfax County Virginia. He started his career at Boeing in 1962 working on the Saturn program. He was also on the SST, WASP, B1 Bomber, PShield, and Command Post programs. His service with the Boy Scouts of America led to being awarded the Silver Beaver Award. He was very active in his church on Mercer Island (Emmanuel Episcopal Church). Helena and Bill were always great entertainers of lifelong Boeing friends and neighbors. Bill traveled to over 80 countries in his travels. He retired from Boeing after 37 years of employment. He was preceded in death by his wife Helena. He will be missed by his sons Bill Gilbert, Bob Gilbert (Cindy Kelley Gilbert) and grandsons, Michael and Bennett Gilbert, Kendall Gilbert (Emily Stewart) and Collin Gilbert (Emilee Gilbert). We would like to thank his caregiver and best friend Madison Miles for always looking out for him over the past twelve years and making him laugh often. Bill will be interred next to his wife Helena in a private family ceremony at Tahoma National Cemetery on July 26, 2022. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts in memory of Bill be made to the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts of America.