Elsa Elizabeth Gilbert

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Elsa Elizabeth Gilbert, 95, of Grand Ridge, Florida passed away Thursday, May 4, 2023 at Jackson Hospital.
Elsa was born on April 15, 1928 in Bemberg, Germany. She was a teenager when Hitler’s troops marched Jewish residents down the street in front of her house, to their deaths.

In the 1950’s she came to the United States to be with a cousin who lived in New York. She gained her U.S. citizenship and began working as a governess for a family with three small boys. When this family decided to move to Miami, they brought Elsa along.

After arriving in Miami, she met and married Lampkin Lafayette (L.L.) Gilbert, who was originally from Marianna. L.L. had two sons from a previous marriage, who became sons to Elsa. Eventually L.L. and Elsa had a daughter, Jeanette Maria.

L.L. and Elsa owned and ran Gilbert’s Orthopedic Shoe Repair Service. When they decided to retire, they moved to Palm Bay, Florida to be closer to Jeanette. At this time, they had already lost both boys to accidents. Jeanette had married and was expecting her first child, a boy, to be named Michael. On the way to the hospital, the car was hit by a drunk driver, killing Jeanette and baby Michael, who was about to be born.

In the late 1980’s, L.L. was diagnosed with cancer. At which time, he moved Elsa to Tallahassee so she could be close to his niece, Linda. L.L. only lived two weeks in their new home in Tallahassee, dying in January 1989.

Elsa continued to live in Tallahassee for the next 33 years until her health started to decline. She then came to live with Linda and her family in Grand Ridge until her death.

Elsa Elizabeth Gilbert, 95, of Grand Ridge, Florida passed away Thursday, May 4, 2023, at Jackson Hospital. She was born April 15, 1928, in Frankfurt, Germany.

Elsa was preceded in death by her husband, L.L. Gilbert; sons, Bill Gilbert and Michael Gilbert; daughter, Jeanette Gilbert Umbel; and grandson, Michael Umbel.

She is survived by her niece, Linda Gilbert Neel (Bill) of Grand Ridge; nephews, Nolan Gilbert (Rebecca) of Eclectic, Alabama, Blaine Gilbert (Mindy) of Cantonment, FL; along with several other nieces and nephews; sister-in-law, Opal Gilbert.

Graveside services will be 2:00 PM, Monday, May 8, 2023 at Damascus Free Will Baptist Church with Rev. Caron Harn officiating and James & Sikes Funeral Home Maddox Chapel directing.

The family requests flowers be omitted. Memorial contributions. may be made to your favorite charities in her memory. www.jamesandsikesfuneralhomes.com

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