Celebrating the life of Raymond L. Gilbert
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Ray was born November 11, 1930, in Clinton, Iowa, to Lee and Loretta Gilbert. He married Charmaine Thomsen in 1955 and they were inseparable until her death in 1993. He was a member of the United Methodist Church, Morrison.
Ray was a 1948 Clinton High School graduate where he swam on the state championship team. He attended Clinton Community College playing basketball and baseball. After passing up an offer from the Chicago Cubs, he accepted a scholarship from Northern Iowa in both baseball and basketball. He played one year of professional baseball in the Giant’s organization before being drafted and serving in the Army for two years. Upon returning, he earned a M.A. from the University of Iowa.
Ray began his teaching career in Colesburg, Iowa, where he coached baseball and basketball for 3 years. His 1958 basketball team finished with a record of 26-1, which was the best record in the state of Iowa that year.
He taught at Morrison High School for 31 years, also coaching basketball for 23 years and freshman football for 15 years. He was an assistant track coach for 12 years. During his 19 year tenure as varsity basketball coach, the Mustangs won 278 games including several Conference Championships, six Regional Championships, one Sectional Championship, and a Super Sectional Championship. The 1977 team lost to the eventual State Champion, Madison in the quarterfinals of the State tournament played in Champaign.
Ray was inducted into the Morrison High School Hall of Fame as well as the Northwest Illinois Sports Hall of Fame. He was also honored by his peers with his induction into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. He served on the selection committee for the Northwest Illinois Sports Hall of Fame for many years.
He was an avid fisherman and golfer. Over the years he had been a member of the Morrison Country Club, Clinton Country Club, and Cross Creek Golf Club and was very proud of shooting his age in golf for eight years. He was an enthusiastic fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents and wife. He is survived by his sister, Shirley Hanrahan of Dewitt, niece, Michele Bott (Dan, deceased) of Clinton, nephew Mike Hanrahan (Barb) of Fulton, and great nephew Jake Hanrahan (Meghan Paulsen) of Monument, Colorado.
A private family service will be held Wednesday, January 13 at the Morrison Chapel of the Bosma-Renkes Funeral Home. Rev. Calvin Haines, Jr., pastor of Morrison United Methodist Church, will officiate. A private interment will be at Grove Hill Cemetery in Morrison. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Morrison Athletic Boosters.
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