Thena S. Gilbert

Obituary
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  • "Thank you all for your beautiful thoughts and prayers for..."
    - Sherry Gilbert
  • "Sherry, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We..."
    - Tim & Amy Stevens
  • "Sherry, I will always remember your, "It's ok, Mum"..."
    - Judy Staiger
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    - Christie & Marl Jackson
  • "When I first heard, I was deeply saddened, but then many,..."
    - Tom Libbey
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OAKLAND -- Thena S. Gilbert died at MaineGeneral Medical Center, Thayer Unit, on Monday, Sept. 26, 2005, at 97, after a short illness.

She was born on Heath Street in Oakland and lived in Oakland all her life. Thena had the distinction of being the oldest living graduate of Williams High School. Her parents, Robert Thomas "Tom" Sullivan and Catherine Ann "Annie" (Ludden) Sullivan raised seven children, four daughters and three sons, all predeceasing Thena.

Thena was the mother of four daughters, Kay Bacon and husband Otis of Sidney, Beverly Baird of Ocala, Fla., Natalie Vogler and husband Max of Ocala and Sherry Gilbert of Oakland; and one son, Ronald "Terry" Gilbert of Oakland. Her lineage includes eleven grandchildren (one predeceased) and 14 great-grandchildren.

A communicant of St. Theresa's Catholic Church, Thena was an active member serving as a CCD teacher, a lector, a Eucharistic minister, a member of the parish council and a member of St. Theresa's Guild. Thena also loved gardening, tending both a rock garden and a vegetable garden each year, and she also enjoyed her membership in the Oakland Garden Club.

One of the special treats of her life was when she won the grand prize on the television show, "Truth or Consequences" hosted by Bob Barker, by guessing prizes behind seven different doors. Thena said she chose the number five because of her five children and continued on until she won the grand prize. Several of the larger prizes were given by Thena to friends in need.

The ultimate caregiver, she enjoyed doing helpful things for her friends and acquaintances. She once remarked at age 90, she thought the reason God had granted her a long life was to allow her to do something good for someone each day, a feat she lovingly accomplished.

She was very active in each of the businesses she and her beloved husband, Ronald W. Gilbert, who predeceased her in 1985, owned. Their first business venture was Gilbert's Dairy, which they owned for more than 20 years. During the time they managed the dairy they also purchased and ran the Oakland Boat House. Upon selling these two businesses they purchased and ran R. W. Gilbert Inc. for many years. Thena also received her CNA and worked the evening shift for many years at Thayer Hospital.

She enjoyed traveling until she became the proud owner of a miniature pinscher. Her traveling was greatly curtailed as she chose instead to stay close to home and enjoy the company of her tiny devoted companion, Dancer.

Arrangements are by Wheeler's Funeral Home, Church Street, Oakland, with visiting hours from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday with the Rosary being said shortly after 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Theresa's Church, Church Street, Oakland.

Donations may be made to Mount St. Joseph, A Holistic Care Community, Highwood Street, Waterville.

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Published in Central Maine on Sept. 28, 2005