Jerry Gilbert, Sr. Obituary

Jerry  Dean Gilbert, Sr.
Jerry D. Gilbert Sr.
Jerry Dean Gilbert, Sr.

August 21, 1938 - February 15, 2017
Born in Eckford Township, Michigan
Resided in Marshall, MI


Jerry D. Gilbert, Sr., 78, of Marshall passed away on February 15, 2017 at home. He was born on August 21, 1938 in Eckford Township to Betty Lou and Orin E. (Bud) Gilbert.

Jerry graduated from Homer High School in 1957 and served 4 years in the United States Air Force, serving one of those years in Iceland as a fire truck hydraulic mechanic.
In 1960, while on temporary duty with NASSA during the Bay of Pigs, he married Judith L. Sandford. From that marriage were three children. After leaving the service, they returned to Battle Creek to make their home.

Jerry began his career as a firefighter with the City of Battle Creek in 1962 and in 1964 he was offered the position of Assistant Chief of Battle Creek Township, becoming chief in 1969. While chief of Battle Creek Township, Jerry was instrumental in creating the #2 Fire Station on Capital Ave SW. Battle Creek Township was the first department in Michigan to develop a Medical First Responder system utilizing firefighters trained as Basic Emergency Medical Technicians. Due to his forward thinking and dedication to the fire service, he was named President of the Michigan Fire Chiefs Association from 1980 to 1981.

In 1979 he married Jane (Allen) Slater at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Marshall. He was an active member of the church, where he served on the vestry. Jane and Jerry spent 38 years having fun raising and enjoying their combined family of five children, traveling, watching grandchildren perform all kinds of activities, antiquing, spending time with dear friends, and simply watching wildlife by their creek and pond. Jerry especially enjoyed racquetball, ping pong, yearly trips to the Black Spruce River Club and the Wolf Trail Camp on the Algoma Central Railway with his close friends and family.

Jerry leaves behind the loves of his life. His wife Jane and his children, Karen (Jerry) Diver of Marshall, Jerry (Becky) Gilbert, Jr. of Battle Creek, Michael (Kristine) Gilbert of Battle Creek, Allen (Kristi) Slater of Adrian, and Sarah (Scott) Neubecker of Battle Creek, grandchildren, Jason (Annalisa) Gilbert, Autumn (Joe Compton) Ludman, Wyatt Ludman, Alec Isham, Nathan Neubecker, Jennifer Diver, Connor Gilbert, Ashlyn Neubecker, Wil Isham, Owen Gilbert, Luke Isham, Holden Neubecker, great grandchild, Reed Compton, sisters, Lynda Tanner, Jane (Jerry) Drewyor, Paula Gilbert, brother, David (Sandy) Gilbert.

Preceded in death by his parents Betty Lou and Orin (Bud) Gilbert and stepmother, Joanne Gilbert, brother, Larry Gilbert, aunt and uncle, Myra and Rolland Harris.

The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 5 PM to 8 PM at the Craig K. Kempf Family Funeral Home, Marshall Chapel. A memorial service to celebrate the gift of his life will be held 11 AM Wednesday at Trinity Episcopal Church, Marshall. Memorials: Oaklawn Hospice of Marshall, Trinity Episcopal Church of Marshall, Humane Society of South Central Michigan and Calhoun County Fire Chiefs Association. Assistance with memorials is available at the funeral home.

To leave a personal message and sign the online guest book, please visit




Craig K. Kempf Family Funeral Homes, Marshall Chapel
723 Old US Highway 27 North
Marshall, MI 49068
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Trinity Episcopal Church
101 E. Mansion Street
Marshall, MI 49068
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
11:00 AM


Oaklawn Hospice, Trinity Church, Humane Society, Cal. Co. Fire Chiefs Assoc
Assistance with memorials is available at the funeral home.