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Harry & Bryant Company

500 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC

OBITUARY

John Kendall Gilbert Jr.

June 14, 1925June 9, 2019
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John Kendall Gilbert, Jr., 93, passed away peacefully Sunday, June 9, 2019 in Charlotte, NC. Jack was a Charlotte native, the son of the late John K. Gilbert and Jeanette Brigstock. He graduated from Central High School where he was active in sports as quarterback of the football team and shortstop on the baseball team. During WWII Jack enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, attended officer training school at Norwich University in Vermont attaining the rank of 2nd Lieutenant and served as a B-24 bomber pilot in the 12th Air Corps.

After the war Jack attended UNC-Chapel Hill under the GI Bill before returning to work in Charlotte for Biggers Brothers Wholesale, which led to a long career in the food brokerage business, first with Interstate Brokers and then as the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Carolina Brokers and as President of Food One. He was a long-time member of First United Methodist Church, serving selflessly over many years in almost every lay capacity, including Chairman of the Board of Trustees several times, and was instrumental in the formation of the Church’s child daycare program. Jack lived life with enthusiasm and he had many interests, including woodworking, reading, sports and travel. He was always supportive of his sons in their many activities growing up, especially Scouting and sports. Jack was very devoted to his family and friends and the first to volunteer to help anyone in need. He had a wonderful sense of humor and delighted in making those around him laugh and smile.

Jack was pre-deceased by the love of his life, his wife of 67 years, Jean Fant Gilbert. He is survived by their three sons and their wives, Gary and Beth Gilbert of Charlotte, David and Jean Gilbert of Greenville, SC, and Tim and Janet Gilbert of Charlotte, as well as seven grandchildren, Kendall Gilbert-Cox and husband Michael Cox, Geoffrey Gilbert, Chelsea and Benjamin Gilbert, and Michael, Brian and Stephen Gilbert. Jack is also survived by his sister, Betty Gilbert Kirby and sister-in-law, Norma Lynn Fant Higgins. He was predeceased by his siblings, Roger Kendall Gilbert and Janet Gilbert Bassett.

Arrangements are in the care of Harry & Bryant Funeral Home, 500 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC 28207. An online guestbook, photo gallery and obituary is available at www.harryandbryantfuneralhome.com.

A memorial service to honor Jack’s life will be held at 1 P.M., Saturday, June 15, 2019 in the Chapel at Harry & Bryant Funeral Home. Visitation with family will precede the service at 12 noon. Following the service, Jack will be laid to rest in Elmwood Cemetery beside his wife, Jean, and his parents.

The family would like to thank the staff at Sharon Towers for their dedicated service to Jack, as well as Betty Gilbert Kirby for her selfless devotion to her brother.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the First United Methodist Church Child Development Center, 501 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202.

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, June 15, 2019
  • Memorial Service Saturday, June 15, 2019

Memories

John Kendall Gilbert Jr.

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Ed Saint Sing

June 14, 2019

I had the privilege of working with Jack at Carolina Brokers for over 16 years and always marveled at how smart he was and amused by his wonderful sense of humor. I will always remember how in the early years as a retail salesman I would call into the office and Jack ( Mr. Gilbert) would offer to stay late so that when I arrived he could go ahead and reimburse me for my expenses so that I could get to the bank and "cover" the checks that I'd had to write while out of town that week. He remembered what it was like to not have any money.
Jack, taught me a financial lesson that served me well throughout my life . As a new hire he was explaining the company's 401-K program. I politely told him that I was young and with new family responsibilities that I couldn't afford to participate. He told me that if always waited to SAVE what was left after paying all of my expenses that I would always be poor. He said that I needed to learn to pay myself (save) first and that I'd learn to live within my means. I never forgot that lesson and it was a lesson that I taught my own children as well as a story that I would tell EVERY person that I hired throughout my career, making sure that I always gave Mr. Gilbert the credit .
Jack Gilbert was a good man.
Ed Saint Sing

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