Gary Lee Paff Gilbert

May 10, 1944August 2, 2022
Gary Lee Paff Gilbert, 78, of Mammoth Cave, Ky., passed away peacefully Tuesday Aug. 2, 2022, at the home of his daughter in Harrison Township, Mich., after battling cancer. Gary was born on May 10, 1944, in Lansing, Mich., to Ella Jane Wise Gilbert and Clarence Paff, a World War II fighter pilot who died during a mission in Italy. His mom later married Joel Gilbert, who adopted him as his son. Gary was a state champion wrestler in high school at Lansing Eastern and went on to wrestle at Central Michigan University before suffering a career-ending injury. After graduating from Central, Gary spent his career teaching physical education at the middle school in Marshall, Mich. He also coached the high school wrestling team, which included several state champions during his years there. He moved to Kentucky in retirement where he enjoyed fishing and golfing. He also enjoyed his return trips to Michigan to visit his kids and grandkids. He loved watching them participate in sports and activities and played alongside them whenever possible. A few of his favorites included corn hole, ping pong, bocce ball, badminton, and, of course, fishing. Gary was an extremely devoted father and “Gramps,” as well as an avid Michigan State fan. He is survived by his daughter Amy Gilbert-Mulkey (and soon-to-be son-in-law, Todd Montpas) of Harrison Twp; son Christian Gilbert of Auburn Hills; grandkids, Tyler and Trever Mulkey, and Kaia Gilbert; sister, Nancy Johnson of Virginia and niece Anna Gilbert. Gary was preceded in death by his parents as well as his brother, David Joel Gilbert. A memorial service is being considered for a future date.

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