Gilbert, Truman Judson

Gilbert, Truman Judson[1]

Male 1911 - 1962  (51 years)

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  • Name Gilbert, Truman Judson 
    Born 17 Mar 1911  Dorr, Allegan County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 27 Nov 1962  Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Mount Ever-Rest Memorial Park South, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I21883  Sackett | Descendants of John Sackett the Colonist
    Last Modified 19 Jan 2009 

    Father Gilbert, Walter Joshua,   b. 4 Dec 1871, Byron Center, Kent County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Aug 1955, Galesburg, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years) 
    Mother Judson, Primrose,   b. 31 Jan 1876, Kent County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 May 1958, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Married 14 Feb 1901  Byron Center, Kent County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Children 4 children 
     1. Gilbert, Raymond Cecil,   b. 13 Mar 1902, Byron Center, Kent County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Aug 1967, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years)
     2. Gilbert, Ina Rae,   b. 6 Jan 1904, Kent County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jun 1929, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 25 years)
     3. Gilbert, Iva Mae,   b. 23 Dec 1906, Kent County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Dec 1972, Central Lake, Antrim County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years)
     4. Gilbert, Truman Judson,   b. 17 Mar 1911, Dorr, Allegan County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Nov 1962, Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 51 years)
     
    Family ID F8029  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Galbreath, Dorothy Aileen,   b. 19 Mar 1914, South Haven, Van Buren County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Dec 2002, Lanham, Prince George's County, Maryland, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years) 
    Married 30 Jun 1936  Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Living
     2. Gilbert, Jusdon Truman,   b. 31 May 1940, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Nov 1985, Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years)
     3. Gilbert, Mary Ellen,   b. 19 Oct 1943, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Nov 1988, Homestead, Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years)
     4. Living
     5. Living
    Last Modified 19 Jan 2009 
    Family ID F8037  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 17 Mar 1911 - Dorr, Allegan County, Michigan, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 30 Jun 1936 - Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsChild - Gilbert, Jusdon Truman - 31 May 1940 - Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsChild - Gilbert, Mary Ellen - 19 Oct 1943 - Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 27 Nov 1962 - Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Mount Ever-Rest Memorial Park South, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend Address Cemetery Street/Feature Village/Neighborhood/Community Township/Parish City County/Shire State/Province Country Region Not Set

  • Notes 
    • Truman Gilbert was the youngest of four children. The family moved to Kalamazoo in about 1922 and lived near Western Michigan College (now University) which he attended for about two years. It is here that he met Dorothy Galbreath. While at Western he was a member of their tennis team. He was a tall, handsome man: between 6'2" and 6'3" tall, with blue eyes and wavy hair. He could not afford to finish college but did retain some beautiful architectural pencil sketches from one of his classes, and related several times his frustration in one class at being docked a significant number of points on an essay exam for misspelling a simple word in haste.

      As a wedding present, Dorothy's mother gave them her equity in her small bungalow at 1930 East Cork St., later 2002 East. Cork, in Milwood, a southern suburb of Kalamazoo. The house was on two and one half acres of orchard, half of a five-acre plot that Eva purchased in April, 1925, from the Fischer family. It was in this house that Dorothy's grandmother, Margaret Lydia (Bortle) Tenbroeck died. With the help of college friends, Truman and Dorothy refurbished the house and moved in after their wedding, living there until their first son, Walter, was born. They then bought a house on Egleston St. in Kalamazoo and lived upstairs and rented the downstairs portion. During this time, Dorothy's mother died. They also continued to renovate the house at 1930 Cork St. having the painting done by Harry Marlette in exchange for their cow.

      In this late depression time, Truman worked as a carpenter, finding work for a while in Alabama and later at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He was called for service in WW II but failed the physical in Detroit because of a grapefruit-size goiter he had at the time. From the time they moved to 2002 East Cork Street until some time after the second World War, they always had a pen of chickens and at least one cow. Truman built a small barn and chicken coop for the animals and provided most of their care. The cow provided milk and enough butter to have excess which was sold to neighbors. Hand churning several gallons of cream was a task often performed by the children. After the butterfat had coagulated, it was extracted from the buttermilk with cheese cloth and formed into one-pound pats. It was then stored in a large, old, commercial-style chest freezer in the basement. The buttermilk was bottled for drinking. Often the cow was bred for a calf which was used for meat for the family. The chickens provided eggs and were also eaten. Before chicken feeds were supplemented with vitamins and minerals, eggs shells were saved, baked, ground, and mixed with their feed. The baking operation produced a stench usually sufficient to drive the family from the house.

      During this time, the early 1940s, Truman acquired an exterminating company from ____ Barker. Dorothy had dated the Barker's son, ____, until he died of a floor burn from playing basketball. They remained close and when ____ Barker wanted to retire from his business, he offered it to Truman. Truman renamed it "Gilbert's Exterminating Service" and operated it out of the family home. This entailed storing hundreds of pounds of DDT, canisters of other poisons, and carboys of sulphuric acid in the workshop building that Truman built about 50 feet behind the house. Fortunately, no accidents ever occurred with these materials except the time when someone who was assisting in the preparation for a fumigation opened a carboy of acid while standing down wind-the vapors ate large holes in his pants. Occasionally, when explaining his father's occupation at "show and tell" in school, one of the children would take a small can of pyrethrin and describe how it was used. Then, with the class thoroughly impressed by the toxicity of the material, he would eat a pinch of it, much to the horror of the teacher and class. It would then be explained that pyrethrin is harmless to humans.

      After the war, Truman returned to carpentry and built several houses in the Kalamazoo area, including one for his sister, Iva Mohl, and her husband. The shop building was often used to make items for these homes, usually those requiring finer woodworking. This shop was about 20' by 24' and had wide workbenches along the two long walls, except for a break at one end for a garage door. A large radial arm saw was built into the middle of the complete workbench and there was a small door in the walls at the end of the workbench so the very long lumber could be slid in and cut. The shop also had a fine table saw built of oak by Truman's father, Walter, who, with his wife, had lived in a house built between the main house and the shop. Walter also built a wood lathe and many smaller, specialized hand tools. There was also a drill press. The facilities were such that the children had ample opportunity to learn basic woodworking and other skills. Several go-carts were assembled here, and son Walter used it several times for overhauling automobiles. The shop stood until 197_ when it was dismantled during a family reunion, having degenerated significantly from neglect.

      After having been his own contractor and carpenter for a few years, Truman went to work for the Ray Stevens Construction Company as their field superintendent. In this capacity he supervised the construction of many buildings, schools, churches, etc., in southern Michigan. The company failed in November, 1958, which had a serious physical and psychological effect on Truman. He was unemployed for eight weeks, refusing to apply to the Miller-Davis Construction Company which had forced the Stevens company out of business. However, Miller-Davis eventually offered him a job, which he accepted, because other attempts at finding work had not been fruitful. His annual salary with Stevens had been $11,000, a princely sum at the time, but he was offered only $8,000 by Miller-Davis. They had no work for him for the first several months and then he was sent to various construction sites out of town where he could return home only infrequently. He died of a heart attack while building a Holiday Inn in Danville, Illinois. He did not appear at work on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and was found dead in bed at his rooming house.

      His son, Walter, relates the following about the death of his father:
      For several months before my father's death, I had the same terrifying dream about twice a week. In it I could see him sleeping in a single bed against a wall in an unfamiliar room with the nitroglycerine pills that he took for his heart condition on the nightstand beside the bed. He awakens at night with severe chest pains and reaches for his medication which, due to the darkness and the severity of the pain, he knocks onto the floor. He thinks or says, "Oh dear, damnit!" and dies quickly, being unable to move to retrieve the fallen bottle.

      Every time I would have this dream, I would awaken completely shaken, and would not be able to return to sleep for some time. After his death, the dream never recurred.

      Truman enjoyed hunting and was active in Little League Baseball with his sons Eugene and Harry. He also enjoyed occasionally playing the piano and had several pieces he played from memory remarkably well considering that he had probably learned them in his childhood and had not practiced them for many years.
      -----
      Sources:
      * Truman's birth certificate is from Allegan County, Michigan, record 4246, local file number vol. 7, p. 332, date of record, April 11, 1911: Truman J. Gilbert was born March 17, 1911, male, white, in Dorr, Mich. His father was Walter Gilbert of Dorr, Mich., born in Mich.; occupation Farmer. His mother was Rose Judson of Dorr, Mich. born in Mich..
      * Walter Gilbert

  • Sources 
    1. [S600] Walter Gilbert, Gilbert, Walter, (Walter Gilbert: 3941 Perry Hall Road; Perry Hall, Maryland, USA; 1128-9751; http://www.otal.umd.edu/~walt/gen/htmfile/frames.htm).


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