Joseph M. Gilbert of Ocean Grove and Clifton, NJ, formerly of Bloomfield, NJ, (90) passed away on July 14, 2020 after a brief illness. Visitation will be on Monday, July 20, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Bizub Quinlan Funeral Home, 1313 Van Houten Ave., Clifton with Parastas at 7:00 p.m. The funeral will be on Tuesday, July 21, starting with a prayer before church at 9:15 a.m. at the funeral home followed by a Byzantine Funeral Liturgy at 10:00 a.m. at St. Michael’s Cathedral Chapel, 415 Lackawanna Avenue, Woodland Park, N.J. Internment will follow at Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Upper Montclair.
Born on June 2, 1930 to Steven Gilbert and Mary Gilbert (Hajas) in Granville, N.Y. at their home on Church Street, Joseph Martin Gilbert graduated from Granville High School in 1947 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers College in 1953. While in college, Joe joined ROTC. He then served honorably in the Korean War as a Lieutenant in the Air Force stationed on Hokkaido as a radio engineer.
After college and the Air Force Joe decided to stay in New Jersey. He worked in the aerospace industry and eventually for the NJDEP which he retired from in 2003. He was a life member of the Montclair Operetta Club. He started working backstage in 1958 but found his passion was onstage. He loved an audience! He was know for his wonderful bass voice and sense of humor. He met his future wife at MOC. Joe and Jeanne were married on August 6, 1966 at St. Michael’s Cathedral, Byzantine Catholic Church. Joe passed his love of theater on to his daughter. Joe and Eileen spent many shows together at MOC. There are many happy memories from MOC, OG, and Granville. He is a member of St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church, Passaic, N.J.
Joe was forever an athlete. He played football, basketball, baseball, and track in high school holding several records including the broad jump record. In college, he continued with football and basketball and then held the javelin record at Rutgers. He continued to enjoy sports and was an avid golfer for many years. Joe never stopped being a Rutgers fan through thick and thin - Upstream Red Team!
Joe was also the family historian and was proud of his Carpatho-Rusyn ethnicity. His parents came from Jastreb and Lubotina in the Tatra Mountains of Austro-Hungary in the early 1900s. They first settled in Bridgeport and then relocated to Granville where they became a part of a vibrant immigrant community. Joe was always ready to share our family history with all of his nieces and nephews. He also always wanted to hear about their accomplishments and loved seeing everyone at the family reunion.
He is predeceased by his parents, wife, and siblings: Mary Doty (Maurice), Anne DiCiccio (Tripoli), Steve Gilbert (Lena), Ella Geruntino (Joe), Sue Sipowicz, John Gilbert (Mary), Mike Gilbert (Leatrice), George Gilbert, Peter Gilbert (Hazel) and brother-in-law Keith Sweet. Joe is survived by his devoted daughter, Eileen P. Gilbert, beloved sister, Frances G. Sweet, brother-in-law Edmund Sipowicz, Goddaughter and niece, Susan E. Sweet and many generations of nephews and nieces. Donations can be made to the Slate Valley Museum, 17 Water St., Granville, NY 12832 or the Byzantine Catholic Seminary Of Saints Cyril and Methodius, 3605 Perrysville Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15214.
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