Larry Arnold Gilbert
April 23, 1940 to February 2, 2020
Larry Arnold Gilbert passed on from this life Sunday, February 2, 2020 in San Diego from complications of leukemia.
Larry was born April 23, 1940 in El Centro, the son of Ralph and Bertha Gilbert, who were Valley pioneers.
Larry graduated Imperial High School in 1958. He attended Cal Poly, Pomona, where he studied agronomy and was elected student body president and named Outstanding Student in the College of Agriculture his senior year.
After graduating, he returned to the Imperial Valley where he married Cassie Northcutt on October 22, 1965. For the next 55 years, they farmed together, raised four children, and spent countless hours enjoying their five grandchildren.
Larry was deeply involved in his community. Like his father Ralph, he served as a member of the Imperial School Board for 8 years, including two terms as president. Among many other committees and boards, Larry served on the California Wheat Commission for 20 years, El Centro Kiwanis for 50 years, and was a member of the Imperial Grain Growers Board for more than 40 years.
As one of the founding members, Larry had served on the IID’s Water Conservation Advisory Board for more than 40 years. He served on the board of the Imperial County Farm Bureau for more than 40 years, was a delegate to the California Farm Bureau Federation, member of the state water committee, as well as the state delegate to American Farm Bureau Federation and national wheat committee chairman. He also testified extensively in the proceedings that surrounded the QSA and water transfers.
In 2001, Larry was presented with the California Farm Bureau Distinguished Service award, and in 2009, he was named Imperial County Farm Bureau’s Jim Kuhn Memorial Farmer of the Year.
Throughout his life, Larry was an active member of the church of Christ on Eighth & Heil in El Centro, where he served as an elder. He dedicated his life to the service of God, family and farm, in that order.
Larry is preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Bertha Gilbert, his sister Evelyn Asbury, and his brother Frank Gilbert.
He is survived by his wife, Cassie; his sister and brother-in-law Edith & Herb Garges; his brother-in-law Delford Asbury; his children, Stanley & Amy Gilbert, Laura & Eric Watkins, Colleen & Dwayne Cossey, and Candace & Les Nelson; his grandchildren, Rachel Watkins and her fiancé Andrew Walker, Holly Watkins and her fiancé Joshua McCandless, Joshua Watkins, Eleanor Gilbert, and Hailey Nelson; as well as his nephews, niece, cousins and many other loved ones.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, February 15 at 1pm at Brock Asparagus, 1399 Forrester Road in El Centro.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or the American Kidney Fund.
While Larry will be dearly missed by all those who remain behind, in his mother’s words, “let us look to God and his handiwork - the beautiful flowers and the little hummingbirds for comfort. Let us remember that there are things we still can do to fill our lives with happiness and encouragement for others.”