Feb. 8, 1910 – June 9, 2013
Doris A. Gilbert, a lifelong resident of Buffalo, died Sunday in Greenfield Health and Rehabilitation Center, Lancaster, after a brief illness. She was 103.
Born Doris Strathman, she was an honor student and graduate of Fosdick-Masten Park High School, Class of ’27, and she maintained a connection to the school her entire life.
On Sept. 13, 2010, she was honored at the rededication of City Honors at Fosdick-Masten Park, with her speech presented on her behalf by her son Don.
Her remarks about her own graduation year put her long life into context: “Calvin Coolidge was president. Gas was 15 cents a gallon, a 24-ounce loaf of bread was 9 cents. Babe Ruth hit his 60th home run. The Peace Bridge opened. ...”
She then urged today’s students to be positive, embrace opportunities, follow the rules and have a spiritual component in their lives.
To celebrate her 102nd birthday, she honored the school with a bronze plaque affixed to the steps, which says, in part:
“Advance your intellect. Empower yourself with empathy and compassion. Give rise to progress in the great city of Buffalo and around the world.”
Mrs. Gilbert began her working career at age 16 as an administrative assistant to the president of HD Taylor Company, where she worked until 1939.
From 1960 to her retirement in 1980, she was an administrative assistant in the department of continuing education at the University at Buffalo.
Mrs. Gilbert was a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and the PTAs of School 63 and Bennett High School. She also was an avid bridge player, continuing to play until about five years ago.
Her husband of 57 years, Don W. Gilbert, died in 1991.
She is survived by two sons, William F. and Don A., whose football career at Bennett High, UB and in Canada gained him membership in the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1080 Main St.