Clifford Byron "Babe" Gilbert, 83, McCracken, died Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at his home.


He was born July 12, 1937, in Cañon City, Colo., to Harold Leonard "Hap" and Clara Lucille (Flack) Gilbert. He was a resident of McCracken for 76 years, moving from Bushton. He was a 1955 graduate of McCracken High School, McCracken and a 1965 graduate of Fort Hays Kansas State College, Hays with a degree in earth science and physical education.


He married Arlene Wilson on Aug. 2, 1959, in McCracken. He taught for the McCracken school district, and Otis-Bison school district.


During that time he enjoyed coaching basketball, football, and track for 17 years. After his retirement, he was a substitute teacher in Rush County and Ness County. He was also an independent insurance agent for the Citizens State Bank, McCracken and for Farmers Bank & Trust, La Crosse after serving a number of years as a loan officer.


As a youth, he worked for many area farmers until he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After his Army discharge, he worked for the railroad until he was hired as an officer for the La Crosse Police Department, La Crosse. He was a U.S. Army veteran, serving during the Korean Conflict as a PFC. He served active duty from 1955 to 1957 and inactive duty from 1957 to 1959.


He was a member of the United Methodist Church, McCracken, a 40 plus year member of the Order of the Eastern Star No. 228, Hays, a 54 year member of Walnut City Masonic Lodge No. 215, Rush Center and a 63 year member of American Legion Post 59, McCracken.


Survivors include his wife, McCracken; a son, Brett Gilbert and wife, Holly, McCracken; three granddaughters, Haily Rogers (Brandt), Ness City, Courtney Gilbert, Catoosa, Okla., and Erica Gilbert, Topeka; two great-grandsons, Calum Byron Rogers and Cannon Everett Rogers; three sisters-in-law, Sandy Gilbert, Merino, Colo., Marlene Funk and husband, Bob, and Verlene Wilson, all of WaKeeney; and numerous nieces and nephews.


He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, LeRoy Gilbert, and Dean Gilbert; a sister-in-law, Betty Gilbert; and a great niece, Anna Bergquist.


Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at McCracken City Park, McCracken; a private inurnment will be at a later date in McCracken City Cemetery.


Social distancing is recommended at the memorial service so please bring your lawn chairs. Masks are also recommended. Due to Covid 19, if you have a fever, cough, or are not feeling well, please send condolences via the on line guestbook or mail.


Memorials are suggested to Clifford Byron "Babe" Gilbert Memorial Fund to be distributed to his favorite organizations.


Condolences can be sent to the family at www.janousekfuneralhome.com.


Janousek Funeral Home, La Crosse, is in charge of arrangements.