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Dr. Charles Franklin Gilbert

Dr. Charles Franklin Gilbert of Greenville died unexpectedly Saturday, March 17, 2012, at Vidant Medical Center (formerly Pitt County Memorial Hospital) following a trip to China.

Dr. Gilbert was born March 5, 1933, in Benson to Charlie Gilbert and Mozelle Johnson Gilbert. Dr. Gilbert married his childhood sweetheart, Myra Lee Benson, in 1951. She was by his side in every undertaking throughout their 50 years together. Their married life was spent sharing responsibilities, raising a family, and in their later years, extensive traveling, which Charles had continued to enjoy in his retirement. He was blessed with many talents and was especially proud to share his woodworking projects with doting friends. He and Myra participated in various folk arts during their marriage. Monday nights were a special time for his meeting with the Rotarians. He never missed a meeting. He was adept at creating ornate knives and unusual one-of-a-kind ballpoint pens. He was energetic and always planning new projects and was an avid quail hunter in his younger years. Charles often said that his greatest accomplishments in life were his marriage, family (especially those dear grandchildren) and his career. He was dedicated and gave his best to his work as a pathologist.

Charles received his formal education at Campbell University and his medical degree at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Gilbert completed his internship and two-year residency in pathology at N.C. Memorial Hospital. He was chief resident in pathology and instructor in pathology and microbiology from 1959-1964. He served as co-director, department of laboratory medicine, at Pitt County Memorial Hospital 1966-1980 and associate clinical professor of pathology at East Carolina School of Medicine 1975-1986. Dr. Gilbert and Dr. Robert West became acquainted while studying botany at UNC. They went through medical school together and continued through pathology. They came together in Greenville, where they began Pitt Pathologists and were instrumental to bringing the specialties of pathology to Greenville and North Carolina areas in 1966 and continued in this capacity until 1983 by serving as pathologist consultants to local hospitals in the region. Dr. Gilbert served two years as captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Fort Detrick, Md., 1964-1966. He was the author of a variety of publications related to his profession, and continued his association with Pitt Memorial for a few years of semi-retirement until his final retirement in 2011.

Dr. Gilbert is survived by his son Charles “Chuck” Gilbert Jr. of Washington; grandsons, Matthew Gilbert of Charlotte and Marshall Gilbert of Boone; daughter, Amy Gilbert Gerard of Charlotte; granddaughters, Lee “Curly” Gerard of Greenville and Anna “Sticky” Gerard of Charlotte and grandson, Hodges “Scooby” Gerard of Charlotte.

Dr. Gilbert was predeceased by his parents, Charlie and Mozelle Gilbert; his wife, Myra Lee Benson Gilbert; a brother, Dan Gilbert; and a sister, Julia Lee Gilbert Honey.

The family will receive friends at Dr. Gilbert’s home today from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.  A funeral will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Memorial Baptist Church, 1510 SE Greenville Blvd., Greenville. A graveside service will follow at 3 p.m. at Roselawn Cemetery in Benson.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Cancer Society, P.O. Box 4072, Pittsfield, MA 01202

The family wishes to thank the dedicated hospital staff members who attended to Dr. Gilbert’s needs during his brief stay at Vidant Medical Center.

Arrangements are by Wilkerson Funeral Home & Crematory, Greenville.