July 7, 1937 - November 7, 2020
Service Date: November 13, 2020
Church Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home
Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m., Friday, November 13, 2020 at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home.
Irvin Thomas Gilbertson was born to Thomas and Olivia (Frankie) Gilbertson on July 7, 1937 in their home on the family farm near Erwin, South Dakota. He attended Happy Hollow Country school until 1948. He moved to Rapid City, South Dakota with his family because of his Dad’s poor health. He attended different grade schools, Washington Middle School and Rapid City High School from which he graduated in 1955.
He helped his folks farm starting when he was 8 years old. He worked different jobs while going to school in Rapid City. After graduation from high school he moved back to DeSmet, South Dakota and lived with his grandmother, Judith Larson so he could be close to his girlfriend. He worked at a gas station and for several farmers.
On March 30, 1956 he married his girlfriend, Fern Neu. They lived in Huron, South Dakota for three years. He worked at Home Craft Bakery. While in Huron, they had two sons, Rodney and Kevin. In 1959 they moved to Rapid City. They had a daughter, Shellie in 1964. He worked at Buckingham Wood Products, Fairmont Creamery, Pepsi Cola plant and spent thirty three years working at Black Hills Packing plant. He retired in 1999.
Irvin enjoyed hunting, fishing, coaching his two sons’ baseball teams for several years and had fun camping with his family. He also enjoyed supporting his children’s activities and his grandchildren’s activities. He loved to play cards and going to Deadwood. In his later years he enjoyed getting together with friends for breakfast at the 4-U in Box Elder, the Eagles Café and the Morningside Café in Rapid City.
Irvin passed away on November 7, 2020 around 1:55 p.m., while sleeping peacefully.
Irvin is survived by his wife of 64 years, Fern Gilbertson; children Rodney Gilbertson, Kevin Gilbertson and Shellie (Jeff) Ward; 9 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren; his sisters Jean (Delbert) Zambon and June Taylor. He is preceded in death by his parents Thomas and Olivia (Frankie) Gilbertson, great grandson, his sister Joan Hiatt, Brother-in-law James Taylor, daughter-in-law Vicki Gilbertson, 2 nieces and a nephew.