Obituary published in The Oklahoman, March 26, 2022
Ernest Harrison (Harry) Gilbert, III, age 70, died at home on March 24, 2022. He was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in December, a diagnosis he accepted with grace.
He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and brother. He will be terribly missed.
Harry was born January 16, 1952, the third of four children of Betty and E. Harry Gilbert, Jr. Friends dubbed them the “Leave it to Beaver” family with Harry cast as Wally, the steady older brother.
Harry’s character and intelligence brought him many honors during high school, college and law school, none of which he would want mentioned here.
He earned a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, where he was a member of ROTC and Delta Tau Delta fraternity.
After college he worked briefly as an electrical engineer, concluding that was enough of that. He returned to OU for law school and became a patent attorney.
In the one impetuous act of his life, Harry proposed to Barbara Snow six weeks after their first date and married her six weeks after that. They lived happily ever after and raised two beloved daughters.
After practicing patent law with the Laney, Dougherty law firm and McAfee & Taft, Harry began setting his law practice aside one day a week to build Habitat for Humanity houses, working with Habitat’s permanent crew. He loved that work, as well as the full-bed truck he said it justified.
Eventually, he left the legal profession to teach at Westminster School. He taught fourteen years, most of those as an eighth-grade science teacher and all of them as a basketball coach and role model.
A week after retiring from teaching, Harry reinvented his professional life one more time and went to work for MetaFund, a local non-profit, where he served as general counsel.
Harry is survived by his wife Barbara; daughters Stephanie Snow Gilbert (Jonathan Bank) of Washington, D.C., and Allison Lynne Gilbert (Jake Broussard) of Dallas, TX; granddaughter Arabella Bank; siblings Carolyn Hert, Suzie Montgomery and Phil Gilbert (Lisa); and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and true friends.
Services will be at Crown Heights Christian Church, 4020 N. Western Ave., OKC, on Thursday, March 31, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. A livestream of the service will be available at www.hahncookfuneral.com under Harry’s service information.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity or Westminster School. Arrangements are under the direction of Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper Funeral Directors.