Gilbert M. Wilson went peacefully to be with the Lord on October 12, 2020. He was born on November 21, 1930, in St. Augustine, Florida to Dwight Lyman and Dorothy Hayden Wilson. He was the second born of four children, and is predeceased by his brother, Samuel and sister, Dorothy, and is survived by his eldest brother, Dwight. He was a beloved husband to his devoted wife of 63 years, Beverly, and a wonderful father to his three children, Lyn Williams (Gary), Steven Wilson (Patty) and Kimberly Cullen. He was a grandfather to 13 precious children and great-grandfather to 13 more precious little ones.
Gilbert grew up in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, where his parents owned The Silver Sea Motel. He was a true beach boy from his earliest days. He served in the United States Coast Guard for several years, primarily along the Mississippi River. After graduating from the University of Florida, he married Beverly Gail Lamor and they began their wonderful journey through life together. After living in Gainesville and Jacksonville, they moved to Ft. Lauderdale in 1963, and they soon were the proud owners and managers of the Santa Barbara Inn in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. It was a great way to make a living and meet people from all over the world as well as provided boundless vacation fun for the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. Gilbert and Beverly traveled extensively with friends and family for years. They enjoyed running the motel for 51 years and sold it in 2015. After 56 years of living in Ft. Lauderdale, they moved to Niceville, Florida, in 2019, so they could be close to family.
Gilbert loved every aspect of the beach from looking for sharks teeth and other artifacts to swimming and diving on the reefs. He loved all that God made in His wonderful creation, and he passed this love on to his children. He was an aviation enthusiast and held a private pilot’s license for many years. One of the most exciting flying experiences he ever had was piloting a Lear jet. Sitting in an office was not his idea of a good day, but instead he loved to be outside exploring. He was an accomplished oil painter and sculptor, with his children and grandchildren enjoying the display of his work in their homes.
There will be a private family celebration of life on Friday, October 16, 2020, at First Presbyterian Church in Niceville, followed by a brief graveside service at Heritage Gardens Cemetery, where he will be interred. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Samaritan’s Purse Ministry or Emerald Coast Hospice of Niceville, Florida.
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