Davis & Powell Funeral Home
Edgar Armstrong “Ned” Gilbert, 87, of Berea, Ky., passed away Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph C. and Lamina A. Gilbert, brothers Joseph Clay and William Best Gilbert, and sisters Lucile Sharpton, Gladys McCray and Elizabeth “Bess” Gilbert.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Ozella Hurst Gilbert; four children, James T. Gilbert and wife Judy, John E. Gilbert, Barbara Gilbert James and husband Robert, and Jerry W. Gilbert and wife Tammye.
Ned was born June 14, 1925, on the family farm where he subsequently lived the majority of his life. He was a retired rural letter carrier and farmer.
He attended Berea College for two years before enlisting in the United States Army at age 17 in May of 1943. He served in WW II as a staff sergeant in the European theatre, in G Company, 114th Regiment, of the 104th Infantry Division, known as the Timberwolves, and participated in combat in France, Holland and Germany. For his service, Ned was awarded two Purple Heart Medals for wounds suffered in action and a Bronze Star Medal with Oak Clusters for heroic action. He remained active in the National Timberwolf Association, composed of veterans of the 104th Division.
He was a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a B.S in agriculture, 1947, and an M.S. in agriculture economics, 1948.
From 1948 to 1951, Ned worked as a marketing specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Packing and Stockyards Division, in Indianapolis and Chicago.
In 1952, Ned and his growing family returned to Berea so he could take over running of the family farm.
Ned played a crucial role in efforts to expand the benefits of rural electrification in Kentucky. In 1967, he was elected to the board of directors of Blue Grass Energy. The following year, he was elected chairman of the board where he served for more than three decades. During this time, the cooperative’s membership grew more than 12-fold to about 53,000 members.
He also represented Blue Grass Energy on the board of East Kentucky Power Cooperative in Winchester, serving as board chairman for nine years. In recognition of outstanding service to Kentucky’s rural electrification, generating unit 3 of the Spurlock Station in Maysville was named “The E.A. Gilbert Generating Unit” in 2005. He remained a valued and dedicated member of the boards of Blue Grass Energy and East Kentucky Power until his death.
In addition to serving as on the People’s Bank of Madison County board of directors from 1982-2007, Ned had the following lifelong affiliations: director and president of the Berea Cemetery Board (since 1980), elder of the First Christian Church in Berea (since 1955) and member of Kingston Masonic Lodge No. 315, serving in such capacities as secretary and chaplain.
Other survivors include: grandchildren Hadley Stinson and husband Ryan, James E. “Ned” Gilbert and wife Kathryn, Daniel Gilbert and wife Terry, Patrick Andrew Gilbert, Rebecca Hurst and husband Daniel, Bryan and Evan James, Lucas R., Elly Grace and Jackson P. Gilbert and great-grandchildren Hensley Gilbert and Benjamin C. Stinson.
Visitation at First Christian Church in Berea, from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 4, with Masonic Rites at 8 p.m. Funeral services 2 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the church.
Davis & Powell Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.