John Arnold Gilbertson - Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

January 10, 1932 - January 27, 2023

Gilbertson, John Arnold age 91, of Bloomington, MN, died peacefully on January 27th, surrounded by his children and his wife of 69 years, Eunice A. Gilbertson. John (Jack), was born in Minneapolis, MN to Arnold and Bertha Gilbertson on January 10th, 1932. He attended Central High School and graduated in 1949. In 1953, Jack received a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota. He began teaching in the Minneapolis School system but was drafted three months later. Jack married his favorite dance partner, Eunice Olson in 1953 and served in the Army at Fort Riley, KS as a psychiatric social worker from 1953-1955. Jack and Eunice settled in Bloomington, MN soon after and he resumed his teaching career. He received a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Minnesota in 1959 and became a principal in various Minneapolis elementary schools until his retirement in 1982. From 1954-1962 they welcomed their four children Teri, Reid, Karli and Marla, who each have reaped the rewards of Jack's dedicated teaching skills. Jack had a love of music and literature he passed to the next generations. He sang with The Morris Park Father Singers and, though money was tight, he made sure each of his children had piano lessons. He gifted high-minded books to his grandchildren, as well as an admiration for film. He acquired a taste for opera, but we will remember him best for his rendition of Waltzing Matilda before tucking us in at night. He was a master storyteller, an American realist who would sit his grandchildren down and spin yarns about his upbringing with a sense of humor and sentiment. Jack revered nature. He built a cabin in northern Minnesota and escaped there in the summer with his family and his cherished dogs. He loved routine and was a life long blood donor and Star Tribune subscriber, and he frequented the public library on a weekly basis. He was well known for his hand finished diamond willow canes and walking staffs. "Constant, punctual, and reliable; just like the tick of the clock" was the quote next to Jack's senior high school yearbook picture. Truer words were never spoken, and the loss of our father, grandfather, great-grandfather leaves a profound, tick-tock-less silence.

Jack is survived by his wife, Eunice Gilbertson; sister, Kay Gilbertson of Minneapolis, MN; children, Teri Brooks of Sauk Centre, MN, Karli Gilbertson of Chester, CT, Marla Gilbertson of Minneapolis, MN, and Reid (Laurel Drevlow) Gilbertson of Lake Elmo, MN. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Maressa (Josh) Rousslange, Karl (Meghan) Gilbertson, Reid (Annabel) Gilbertson, Nora Gilbertson, Sten Spinella, Sena Spinella and Elyse Ricigliano; and great grandchildren, Evan Rousslange, Leo and Cam Gilbertson. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Duane Gilbertson and his best friend, son-in-law, Daniel Brooks.

A private service will be held to celebrate Jack's life and spirit this summer.

1 Comment

  1. Leah says:

    I was one of his caregivers and didn’t know he had passed away my condolences to his entire Family he had great stories about his life and family and pets, he had a great sense of humor, he was very independent and loved birds & didn’t care for squirrels much. He took pride in all his many accomplishments & and I remember he said he was a Boy Scout leader in a troop his Son was in and that all his kids worked summers at the nearby recreation center as life guards, his face always lit up to see his two great grandsons and also when he listened to his other great grandson play music for him over the phone he loved his Family dearly you all made him so proud & brought him so much joy
    May he rest in peace

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