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OBIT: Duane F. “Doc” Gilbert

Doc Gilbert of Clear Lake, Iowa passed peacefully at home. A celebration of Doc will be on his 80th birthday as he was looking forward to a big party, Sunday May 19, 2024, from 1:00 – 4:00, at the historic Surf Ballroom.

Doc Gilbert of Clear Lake, Iowa passed peacefully at home. A celebration of Doc will be on his 80th birthday as he was looking forward to a big party, Sunday May 19, 2024, from 1:00 – 4:00, at the historic Surf Ballroom, 460 N. Shore Dr, Clear Lake.

Doc’s life story was much like the stories he loved to tell. They were stories filled with tales of hard work, wild experiences, dedicated love to his family, and embellishments that were almost unimaginable.

Born in Mason City, Iowa. The third child of Art and Annabelle (Nielsen) Gilbert. A proud farm kid with a work ethic he instilled in his children and grandchildren. “You work hard, you play hard” was only one of his many mottos. Growing up he would listen to the radio while milking cows thus beginning his love of music and the Surf.

Graduating in 1963 from Ventura Community School, he was an all-around athlete and played the tuba and accordion. While at Winnona State University, he played football. He also attended Waldorf College in Forest City, IA.

Doc and Pat’s adventure began July 12, 1965, in Hampton, Iowa. They were an unmatched team working together throughout the United States. From managing Truckomat locations to forestry logging along the Maquoketa River, trucking, farming, varied sales positions, business owners of a Radio Shack, Gilby’s Tanning Salons, and Rent-A-Husband. All the while raising Todd “Spud”, Chad and Jennifer.

Doc and Pat enjoyed years of making memories with the family at their cabin in Hayward, Wisconsin. While the cabin was “Invite Only”, you paid your dues with sweat and sometimes blood. Laughter and lessons of hard work made it that much more special. LaLaLand, Polish and It’s a Rental will forever be filed under “It’s a Gilbert Thing, you wouldn’t understand”.

Retirement years never slowed him down. He was a dedicated volunteer at the historic Surf Ballroom. His role as the transportation director during The Winter Dance Party was not only his passion but showcased his unlimited knowledge of music, history, organization, shmoozing and tenacity. He was so proud to have his family continue to be a part the Surf as employees and volunteers.

Doc was not a man of few words! He could talk about anything to anyone. He was the go-to guy for so many people needing a hand, a listening ear, a strong shoulder, or advice. He was a fabulous cook who loved to talk about recipes. A bountiful gardener who canned anything he could get his hands on. And a woodworker whose Adirondack chairs can still be seen in the sunset views around Clear Lake.

He was known as Doc, Pops, Butch, Poppy and Teddy Bear by his Sweet Pea. But all knew him as their friend.

Doc is survived by his wife Pat Gilbert, son Chad (Doy) Gilbert, daughter Jennifer (Kevin Carlson) Gilbert, daughter-in-law Angie Gilbert; grandchildren; Adeline (Michael) Engelstad, Tye (Michael) Thornton, Tonii (Dusty Van Ness) Gilbert, Salida Gilbert, Eliason Gilbert, Jake (Jasmine Robbins) Gilbert, Angel Halford; greatgrandchildren Lexington Gilbert, Keelie Robbins, Baby Gilbert due October 2024; sister Diana (Gary) Carlson, sister-in-law Betsy (Mike) Deets, sister-in-law Dorothy Gilbert as well as many nieces and nephews and “honorary son” Timothy Quirk.

Doc was proceeded in death by his parents Art and Annabelle Gilbert, brother Delbert Gilbert, son Todd “Spud” Gilbert, nephew Jon Carlson and in-laws Robert and Katherine Wells.

As his mother Annabelle would say, “It is only but a moment until we are together again”.

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