Ella Gwendolyn Ward Gilbert “Big Dude” was born to the late Roy Jerome Ward and Eva Viola Charleton Ward on January 4, 1926, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she was subsequentially raised. She departed this earthly life peacefully surrounded by family on Thursday, August 29, 2019.
Gwen graduated from Tulsa Central High School in 1943. High school is where she met Jack L. Gilbert and was married in the summer of 1943. They were wed until Jack’s death in 2007. Throughout her life she participated in many events and remained an active member of the Tulsa community. When she wasn’t attending First United Methodist you could find her square dancing with Jack at the “Do-Si-Do’s” Club, bowling with the team at the local Rose Bowl, running the campaign trail with the other “Goldwater Girls” or battling with her sister over a rousing game of bridge, where she held 26 Master Points. However, of all the things in life there was nothing Big Dude loved more than her family and her dogs.
Whether a tummy needed to be filled or a prayer shared, everyone always headed straight to Big Dude’s house. She will be remembered for her endless energy, her charisma, and her love of yoga.
Preceded in death by her beloved soul mate Babette, her sister Royce Dyer, Gwen is survived by son Lance Gilbert, daughter Julie Magnuson, niece Gwendolyn "Dudie" Kaplan, granddaughters Leslie Walls and Jenifer Gilbert, grandsons James Gilbert and Joshua Magnuson, great nephews Matt and Miles Kaplan, great-grandsons Aiden, James, and Blaine Magnuson.
May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings right
beside your door.
The family makes a special request that in lieu of flowers, we donations be made to the
Tulsa SPCA, 2910 Mohawk Blvd, Tulsa, OK 74110.
Ninde Brookside, 918-742-5556, www.ninde.com