Darwin Edward Gilbertson, known to all as Gil, age 97, of Shakopee, passed away on Saturday, July 18, 2020, at St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee.
Darwin was born November 21, 1922 in Chandler, MN the son of Gilbert and Myrtle (Schmidt) Gilbertson. He was the second oldest of nine children and grew up working the family farm in Chandler. At the age of 16 he excelled at boxing eventually becoming a Golden Gloves Boxer. His other passion was baseball where he could pitch a mean game.
Gil enlisted into the United States Marine Corps serving in WWII in the South Pacific fighting against the Japanese army. He served on Okinawa and other islands eventually being stationed in China.
After returning from the South Pacific in 1945, Gil’s good fortune on returning home was to attend a hometown basketball game sitting behind the girl of his dreams Arliss. They married on July 11, 1948 enjoying a wonderful life together filled with travel and adventure.
Gil and Arliss enjoyed traveling all over the country in their motorhome. After traveling the entire country they decided to make their winter home in Fort Meyers, Florida. His passions were travel, golf, baseball, landscaping and spending time with friends and family.
After returning from the service Gil started working for Bell Telephone Company in Pipestone , Minnesota. He started by climbing telephone poles and stringing lines and at the end of his 35 year career he had become a Right of Way Engineer. He then went on to work for Shakopee Medical Center for 15 years as their maintenance man. Needing to keep busy and out of Arliss’s hair he worked summers for the Shakopee Park and Recreation Department mowing ball parks and soccer fields. He totally retired at the age of 92 to enjoy his twilight years.
After moving to Shakopee Gil and Arliss joined Saint John’s Lutheran Church where he was an active member for many years. Darwin was a loving husband, father of 3, grandfather of 6 and great-grandfather of 2. They all had a special place in his heart.
Darwin is survived by his wife, Arliss; children, Pamela (Mark Smed) Gilbertson (their son, Logan), Cindy (Tom) Stichman (sons, Jordan and Stefan, and daughter, Tayler), and Curtis (Denise) Gilbertson (and their daughters, Cassidy and Madison); his one remaining sibling, Arlo Gilbertson. Darwin is preceded in death by his parents; and siblings, Mike, Gordon, Betty VanLant, Arvin, Vernon, Waldo, and Dale Gilbertson.
Darwin will receive a full military burial at Fort Snelling at a time yet to be determined.
Arrangements with McNearney-Schmidt
Funeral and Cremation, Shakopee, 952-445-2755.
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