Obituary of Donna Jane Gilbert
Donna Jane (Blankenship) Gilbert, 88, of Belleair, Florida departed this life on November 2, 2023, and joined her Lord and savior, Jesus Christ in Heaven. Donna was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Harold Edward Gilbert.
Donna Blankenship was born and raised in Sciotoville, Ohio on April 15th, 1935. On her first day at Minford High, she stepped off the school bus wearing her favorite red coat, no doubt her dark-blonde hair was styled beautiful as always, and that is when Ed Gilbert saw her for the first time. They both instantly knew that they had met the love of their lives. Four years later, Donna and Ed graduated from Minford High School, then married six months after on Friday November 13, 1954, in a double wedding with Ed’s older brother Dan Gilbert and his bride Dot (Dorothy.)
After Donna gave birth in August of 1957 to their daughter Kimberly Gayle, Donna’s health required a warmer climate, so, in 1960 they decided to move the family to Seminole, Florida. Four years later their son, Marc was born in October 1964, also that same year Donna and Ed founded their family business, Gilbert and Byrd Masonry, Inc. As the years passed the warm Florida sunshine and outdoor activities became a passion to Donna and her family. Walking the white sandy shores of Treasure Island, collecting seashells, playing beach volleyball, her daughter’s softball games, or her son’s competition in motor cross, Donna was always a loving, enthusiastic supporter. As her and Ed later became grandparents and then great grandparents, Donna’s passionate support and love of family became ever stronger.
Donna loved to shop for clothes with her daughter, and enjoyed modeling her finds for Ed. A beautiful person inside and out, Donna’s stunning smile would always light up any room. Very photogenic, Donna never went anywhere until her hair was styled just right and she was wearing her favorite red lipstick which Ed just adored. Donna was a talented writer penning many poems and stories for her husband and family over the years. Donna made a positive and loving impact on her entire family and those close to her. Whether it was school, careers, sports or just life events, her wisdom, encouragement and loving sage advice will always live on in the hearts of all she loves and love her.
Donna is survived by her two children, daughter, Kimberly Gilbert Kennedy, her late husband Martin James Kennedy. Her son, Marc Gilbert, his wife, Elise Gilbert, and four grandchildren, Erica Yee, her husband Austin Yee, Lacie Gilbert, Alyee Gilbert Smith, her husband Eric Smith, and Rhea Gilbert. Also, five great-grandchildren: Tucker Halencamp, and Ava, Mia, and Claire Yee, and Charlie Smith. Donna is also survived by two borthers-in law: Daniel Gilbert and his late wife Dorothy (Dot) Gilbert of Minford, Ohio and Brian Haley and his late wife Joy Gilbert Haley of St. Petersburg, Fl.
Also, Donna’s niece, Sherri Blankenship Mason of Seminole, Fl., as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Donna’s memorial service, a celebration of life will be January 10th, 2024 at 5:00 P.M. at the Pool Clubhouse 6 Belleview BLVD. Belleair, FL., 33756.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association. Please visit the family's personalized online guestbook at www.beacondirectcremation.comTo plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Donna Jane Gilbert, please visit our Tree Store