Brigadier General (Ret.) Wendell H. Gilbert , age 91 of Clarksville, TN, passed away Friday, July 8, at the “Brigadier General Wendell H. Gilbert” Tennessee State Veterans Home, Clarksville Tennessee.
Visitation will be held on Friday, July 15, from 4 – 7 PM and Saturday, July 16, From 9 – 10 AM at McReynolds, Nave & Larson Funeral Home. A graveside service will be held at 10:30 AM, July 16, at Greenwood Cemetery with the Rev. Harriet Bryan officiating. Full U.S. Army Honors will be rendered with Ed Groves, Ben Kimbrough, Ted Crozier, Jr., and Martin Crozier serving as honorary pallbearers.
General Gilbert was born in Clarksville on June 16, 1931, to Wendell H. Gilbert and Mary Elizabeth Sullivan Gilbert. After graduating from The United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, in June of 1954, he proudly served 27 years in the US Army. Some of his most memorable assignments during his military career were serving two tours in Vietnam, and commanding an artillery battery, battalion and brigade at Army posts in the United States and Germany. He served both as the 101st Airborne Division Artillery Commander and the Division’s Chief of Staff. General Gilbert’s military awards include among many others the Legion of Merit (w/Oak Leaf Cluster), Bronze Star Medal (w/Oak Leaf Cluster), and Meritorious Service Medal (w/Oak Leaf Cluster). He was a proud artillery officer who was also the recipient of the Combat Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge among other U.S. and Vietnamese awards.
Upon his retirement from the Army, Wendell served as Vice President for Development at Austin Peay State University. He helped to begin fundraising campaigns such as the APSU’s Candlelight Ball still held each year. After his time at APSU, he was called to state service as Commissioner of Veterans Affairs, the state’s first Commissioner of Homeland Security and finally to be the Chief of Staff for Governor Don Sundquist.
Community service was also important to Wendell. He was a founding member of both the Customs House Museum’s fundraiser “ Flying High” and Leadership Clarksville. He also served as President of both the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce and the Clarksville Rotary Club and served on numerous other boards and commissions. Wendell was a life-long member of the Madison Street United Methodist Church.
Wendell is predeceased by his wife of 65 years, Eugenia (Jean) Meadows Gilbert, their son, Wendell H. Gilbert III, and his parents Wendell and Mary Gilbert. He is survived by his daughter, Ann Marie Crozier (Ted), and his two grandchildren, Caroline Sismanturk (Celik) and Martin Crozier.
It is Wendell’s wish that any memorials be donated to the APSU general scholarship fund. Condolences may also be made to Wendell's family by visiting NaveFuneralHomes.com.