Date of Birth
Date of Death
Wilbur George Gilland, age 81 of St. Charles, IL passed away July 11th, 2005. He left peacefully, surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren.He was born at the University of Minnesota Hospital on May 28th, 1924, son of George August Gilland and May Margarite Gilland. Wilbur grew up in Farmington, MN then moved to South St. Paul with his family.He enlisted in the military service at the age of 18 and served from November 4th 1943 to February 1st 1946. Wilbur was a radio communications officer and technician in the Marines, deciphering Japanese code while stationed throughout the South Pacific during World War II. In the Fall of 1947, just months out of the service, Wilbur met his bride-to-be, Donna Mae Arndt. After being set up on a date by Wilbur’s sister, Donna, the two met on September 9th and married October 11th, just five weeks later. In only five weeks, they knew they were meant to be, and for 58 years they stayed true to that promise. For many years, Wilbur and Donna tried for children of their own, and though those children would eventually come, for eleven years they stayed content by surrounding themselves with their nieces and nephews. Fishing and swimming trips, sledding, working on cars, and just visiting kept both of them busy. During these years, Wilbur and Donna lived in a small house on Lake Carver. Donna has always been proud of the great parties she and Wilbur hosted in that little house.In October of 1958, their daughter, Kathleen Patricia, was born. Five years later, in 1963, Wilbur George Jr. was born and as their family grew, it became necessary to leave their beloved little house by the lake and find a larger home in Inver Grove Heights.In 1972, Wilbur’s job transferred him to St. Charles, IL, so the family moved one final time. Wilbur had begun working for Swift & Co. as a butcher before he entered WWII, and he continued to work there after his service. After transferring to St. Charles, he worked in the maintenance department for nearly 20 years.There are so many wonderful things about Wilbur. To begin, there wasn’t anything he couldn’t fix, and it became a family joke that he would purposely break things just so he had a reason to "fiddle" them back together.Wilbur was a devoted Democrat and a member of the VFW most of his life. He always enjoyed talking of his time in the service and recounting stories of his young life. Wilbur loved to fish, he and Donna loved to dance, and he was an amazing father and a beloved grandfather. His love for and dedication to his wife remained until the end. Even though Wilbur had a stroke in 1992 and remained partially paralyzed for the rest of his life, he made sure to keep Donna on her toes. His silly grins and playful comments never ceased to remind her of the charming young Marine she married so many years before.Will, Dad, Papa,Our love for you remains. We are all better people for having had you in our lives. You’ve taught us to love, to work hard, and to stick together. We will miss you so much, and we can’t wait to see you again.Love Forever,Your FamilyHe now leaves his wife of 58 years: Donna Mae Gilland;Children: Kathleen Hemmerich and Wilbur Jr. (Shelly) Gilland;Grandchildren: Bridget (Tristan) Schmit, Michelle (Joseph) Brandonisio, Laura Rittenberry, and Jeremy Gilland;Great-grandchildren: Trenton & Megan Schmit, and Miabella Brandonisio;Sisters: Aleta, Betty, Donna, Marge, Jean and JoanMany nephews and nieces, loved ones, and a family of friends.He now joins his father, George A. Gilland, and his mother, May M. Gilland;Four sisters: Margarita, May, Viola, and Lorraine;And two brothers, Cyryl and Clarence who preceded him in death.
There will be no local services, his funeal service will be held at Bradshaw Funeral Home in St. Paul Minnesota, for information call 1-651-489-1349.
Interment will be at Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul MN