Margaret Evadna Maxine Donovan Gilbert, of 301 Glenwood Road, Greenville, passed away on October 2, just a few days shy of her 101st birthday.
She was the daughter of William Paul Donovan and Elsie Almeda Stoner, born on Oct. 7, 1918, in North Liberty, Ind., and grew up in South Bend. The last surviving member of her immediate family, she was predeceased by two sisters, Gertrude May Donovan Drane and Mary Ellen Donovan Pearson, and two brothers Ralph William Hensel and Kenneth Ray Hensel.
Mrs. Gilbert was predeceased by her husband of 73 years, Dr. John Thomas Gilbert Jr., and her daughter, Sandra Faye Gilbert Vollmer (survived by Dr. James Vollmer).
She is survived by her children Dr. Paul Donovan Gilbert (Hallie Salisbury), John Thomas Gilbert III (the late Diana Wells) and Mary Jane Gilbert Jacques (Dr. Richard Jacques), six grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Surviving grandchildren include: Matthew Vollmer (Dr. Kelly Pender), Carrie Vollmer Brass (Jesse), Dr. Brandt Gilbert (Clay Heatly), Ashley Gilbert Wireman (Dr. Matthew Wireman), Dr. Lauren Jacques Cox (Richard) and Amy Jacques Greenhaus (Michael). She was predeceased by two of her grandsons, Buckley Jacques and Jeffrey Gilbert.
Great Grandchildren include: Elijah Vollmer; Lily and Isaiah Brass; Jack and Molly Gilbert; Eliza, Addie, Henley and Hayes Wireman; Caroline and Mary Margaret Cox; and Jack Greenhaus.
A longtime resident of Greenville, Margaret graduated from Asheville Agricultural School (now Fletcher Academy) in 1937. She then attended the School of Nursing at Mountain Sanitarium and Hospital in Fletcher, N.C. After marrying in Miami in 1939, she and Dr. Gilbert lived in Takoma Park, Md., Atlanta and Greenville — which was interrupted by a move to San Antonio, where he served in the U.S. Air Force — before settling back in John’s hometown to continue his dental practice and raise their four children.
Mrs. Gilbert was an active member of the Greenville Seventh-day Adventist Church — serving in volunteer and leadership capacities at the school, church and community throughout the past 65 years — as well as a member of the Greenville Dental Auxiliary and the Zane Grey West Society.
She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother, and a loyal and faithful friend. Margaret loved traveling, wildflowers, nature, God, hiking and camping, reading the Bible, singing hymns, and whistling her favorite tunes. She also loved classic movies, reading a good book, chocolate, coffee, animals, poetry, cooking and baking, spending time with her family and those gorgeous October blue skies.
Margaret was an amazing listener, shared whatever she had, enjoyed a clean home and was always concerned for the well-being of others, selflessly giving her time to those in need. She had a quote, old saying or song lyrics for any and every situation; she often spent her time walking and hiking daily, sharing her wisdom, warmth and positive outlook with everyone she met. She always saw the good in others, looked on the bright side of life and never uttered a harsh word. Margaret was proud of her heritage, and her Irish eyes were always smiling.
There will be a graveside service at 2 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 5 at the family home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Fletcher Academy.
185 Fletcher Academy Drive, Fletcher NC 28732