Mrs. Joan (Bowes) Gilbert

August 7, 1926 ~ June 19, 2023 (age 96) 96 Years Old
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Joan  Gilbert

Joan  Gilbert, 96, of Lehighton, passed peacefully into eternal rest on Monday, June 19th with loving family by her side.

She was the wife of David Gilbert, a veteran serving in WWII.  They were married for 66 years prior to his passing in 2014.  Joan and Dave met in Frankfurt, Germany where Dave was stationed, and Joan was a civilian working for the U.S. Army.

Born in England, she was the daughter of the late John and Margaret Bowes.  Story goes, when first starting school, Joan, ever the independent sort, would run away with her teacher chasing her down the road calling, “Joan, get back here!” only to have her mother return her promptly to class.  Joan’s aversion to school soon changed as she discovered the wonders of education.  A lifelong learner, Joan passed her love of education onto her family – with many becoming teachers themselves.

Joan graduated from St. Godric’s Secretarial College in Wales earning a degree in business.  She received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English literature from the College of Staten Island, City University of New York.  She then worked as a literary agent and editor in New York for twenty years.

Upon retiring to Pennsylvania, Joan was employed by the Mauch Chunk Museum in Jim Thorpe, designing their core exhibit, “The Story of Mauch Chunk.”  Joan’s written work on local history has been published in journals such as Pennsylvania Heritage and Pennsylvania Magazine.  Her books include Jim Thorpe in the 20th Century, Mule Boy, and Gateway to the Coalfields.

Her family will miss her terribly and are grateful for the many gifts she has given them throughout the years – kindness, guidance, understanding and unconditional love.  We will certainly find comfort in the memories of the times we spent together.

Joan is survived by a son, John Gilbert; a daughter, Louise Gilbert and her husband James Bennewitz; four grandchildren, Richard Gilbert and his wife Holly, Margaret Bennewitz and her husband Kelly Alderson, John Bennewitz and his wife Tara, and Allison Antourakis and her husband Steve; seven great grandchildren Hannah and J.C. Gilbert, Tommy Alderson, Ben, Elle and Marty Bennewitz, and Lio Antourakis; and her furry friends which have all found forever homes with family members.

A private family viewing will be held at the Andrew P. Ovsak Funeral Home, Fourth and Iron Streets, Lehighton, followed by a graveside service at St. John’s cemetery.

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