HORNELL-James “Doug” Gilbert, 70 of 1190 County Route 66, The Woodlands, passed away from Melanoma on Friday morning (Sept. 7, 2018) at St. James Hospital, after a brief illness.
Born in Jamestown, N.Y. on Aug. 29, 1948 he was the son of the late C. Marvin and Jean Gilbert of Falconer, N.Y. and Laura Berquist of South Carolina. On May 15, 1971 he married his best friend and soul mate, Beverly Cerrito and they enjoyed 47 years of living and loving together.
A graduate of Falconer Central School in 1967, Doug served with the U.S. Air Force from 1967-1971, including one year in Vietnam. He served his country proudly and was dismissed with an honorable discharge.
He graduated from Alfred State College in 1974 with a degree in Floricultural Merchandising. While attending Alfred State College he worked for David Conderman at the former Flower Box and then eventually for Ruth Cleveland at Lester’s Flower Shop in Hornell which he purchased in 1977 and renamed it Doug’s Flower Shop and operated it for the next 36 years and sold it in 2013 to one of his former designers, Becky Canfield.
For many years Doug chaired “Shop-O-Rama” events as well as other events in the downtown area. He was instrumental in developing the Downtown Hornell Businessmen’s Association which later became known as the Hornell Partners for Growth.
Since becoming a resident of The Woodlands, he became the treasurer for the Board of Directors and was one of the initial residents who was instrumental in the purchase and development of the resident-owned community.
Throughout the years Doug was a member of many clubs and organizations including, the Hornell Chamber of Commerce, the Hornell Elks Lodge No. 364, a Third-degree member of the Hornell Council No. 243, Knights of Columbus, the New Yok State Teleflora Association where he served as a former president, the Hornell Children’s Home, where he served on the Board of Directors and was a former vice-president, the Sons of Italy, the Hornell Rotary Club where he was a former officer, and Our Lady of the Valley Parish at St. Ann’s Church. He was a former member of the Maple City Sound Committee, the Board of Directors of the Hornell YMCA and the Board of Directors for the Hornell Area Transit.
Doug enjoyed flying and in 1978 he obtained a private pilot’s license and became a member of the Hornell Pilots Association. He loved to play golf everyday and for many years he bowled at the Hornell Bowl and sponsored the Tuesday Night Men’s League. He also loved to travel throughout the south and spent many years flying Beverly to Nantucket Island for long weekend visits.
His loving family includes his wife Beverly; his two sons, Jonathan (Katie) Gilbert and Kevin (Logan) Gilbert who reside in Charlotte, N.C.; his two granddaughters, who were the loves of his life, Ava Louise and Virginia Wynn; his sister, Patricia (Charles) Piazza of Spartanburg, S.C.; his step-sister, Charlotte Gampietro of Jamestown, N.Y.; his two sisters-in-law, Catherine Graves of Fredonia, N.Y. and Susan Dillenburg (James) of Forestville, N.Y.; also many nieces and nephews as well as great nieces and nephews.
The Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc. in Hornell is honored to serve the family of James “Doug” Gilbert.
Calling hours are 3-7 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 11, 2018) at the Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc., 285 Main St., Hornell. Friends are invited to join his family at St. Ann’s Church in Hornell where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday (Sept. 12, 2018). Private interment, with military honors, will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Town of Fremont.
The United States flag and the Air Force flag will proudly fly at the Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc. in recognition of Doug’s military service.
Those wishing may contribute in his memory to either the Mercy Suite at St. James Hospital, 411 Canisteo St., Hornell or to the Hornell Area Humane Society, 7649 Industrial Park Road, Hornell, N.Y. 14843. Envelopes for memorial contributions will be available at the funeral home.
Online condolences or remembrances of Doug are welcomed at www.bishopandjohnsonfuneralhome.com.