Larry Lee Gilbert, 78, of Stewartville, died on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, of natural causes at his home in Stewartville.

He was born on March 8, 1939, in Buffalo Center, Iowa, to Harvey and Bertha (Janssen) Gilbert.

He grew up on the family farm and attended Buffalo Center High School, graduating in 1958.

He was employed for a few years at the Buffalo Center Cooperative Creamery as a butter-maker.

He was married to Joyce A. Ehrich on Sept. 8, 1961, at St. Johns Lutheran Church in rural Elmore, Minn.

The couple moved to Springfield, Minn., where he was employed as the manager at the Springfield Creamery. They next lived in Faribault, while he was employed in sales at Cresthaven Ice Cream. They moved to Stewartville in 1966, where he was manager of the Stewartville Cooperative Creamery until it's closing and where they raised their boys and have continued to make their home.

He was employed at American Linen in Rochester, as a route driver and salesman for 33 years, a job he thoroughly enjoyed until his retirement in 2002. The family also owned and operated Gilbert's Concession Stand on Main street in Stewartville for a number of years, serving everything from tacos to popcorn.

He was a longtime member of St. Johns Lutheran Church in Stewartville, serving as an usher and attended it's Bible study group. He was a longtime member of the Stewartville Sportsmen's Club, where he enjoyed cooking and helping in the kitchen with it's many wild game banquets and fundraisers. He and his wife were avid travelers going on many cruises, traveling to various states and overseas including trips to Europe and Australia. He enjoyed trips up north, camping and fishing with family, gardening and going to coffee with the stand-up gang at Casey's General Store. He enjoyed people and visiting and loved time with family.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce; three sons, Scott Gilbert of Fountain, Douglas (Patti) Gilbert of San Antonio and Steven (Pat) Johnson of Apple Valley; two sisters, Dolores Griffin and Virginia Olthoff, both of Buffalo Center, Iowa; a sister-in-law, Lorraine Gilbert of Austin and nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by two sisters, Marjorie Kiewiet and Mary Lou John and three brothers, Dean Gilbert, Glen "Bud" Gilbert and Harold "Bob" Gilbert.

The celebration of life for him was held on Friday, Jan. 26, at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Stewartville with the Rev. Lyle Fritsch officiating. Burial took place at St. Johns Lutheran Cemetery in rural Elmore.

Arrangements were with Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville.www.griffin-gray.com