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GILBERT, August 15, 1936 – April 2, 2021

Buffalo, South Dakota

Gary Remmen Gilbert, son of H.F. Gilbert and Gladys (Remmen) Gilbert, was born on August 15, 1936, in the Camp Crook Hospital, Camp Crook, South Dakota. The family made their home in Buffalo, where he grew up amid the Remmen aunts, uncles and cousins who lived in Harding County. Gary spent weekends and summers at the Otto and Millie Evenson ranch north of Camp Crook. He received his education in Buffalo and graduated from the Buffalo High School in 1954. Gary went on to complete a degree in Animal Science at SDSU in Brookings, SD in 1958. He attended Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, Rhode Island and after receiving his commission, he served as an officer in the US Navy for 6 years.

Gary and Phyllis Jean Ketchum were married July 16, 1961 at the Grand River Lutheran Church in Buffalo. Gary was serving aboard the USS Bexar, which was stationed at San Diego, CA, so they made their first home in Coronado, CA. The USS Bexar left in September of that year for a 7 month tour of duty. It sailed up the Congo River of Africa and then continued on to completely sail around the world, returning to home port in April, 1962, just a few days after their first son, Pine, was born.

Gary was then given shore duty at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS, where he taught Naval Science. Their home was in Oxford for the remainder of his tour of duty. He opted out of the Navy in 1964 and they returned to Harding County. Gary and Phyllis bought the Otterness Ranch north of Buffalo in the fall of 1964. The ranch was their home for 55 years and where they raised their three sons, Pine, Denver and Matt. Family and the ranch were the center of their lives and you seldom ever saw one without the other. Gary and Phyllis did it all together.

Pine and Tami live on the main ranch and have 5 kids, Clay, Cassidy, Kaydence, Trent and Karli (Cody) Holmes.

Denver and Jenny live on their ranch north of Billings, MT and have two kids, Molly Jo and Brody.

Matt and Carmen live north of Camp Crook on the Evenson Ranch, where Gary spent most of his childhood, and have two kids, Gracy and Gage.

Gary loved his family, raising cattle, his many friends and living in Harding County. He was a long time supporter of High School Rodeo, tied the neck rope at the timed event end a million times and spent many years in the gym watching basketball games where he and Norman offered suggestions to the referees. He served on the Harding County School Board, Harding County Weed Board, Harding County Activities Association, South Dakota State High School Rodeo Association and the Harding County Stock Growers Association. Gary was a member of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Ludlow, SD, the Camp Crook Roping Club, was a 4-H Leader and a Lifetime Member of the Western South Dakota Buckaroos.

Gary never missed a ball game, rodeo, school or church activity that his kids or grandkids were involved in. Later in life he and Phyllis enjoyed the ‘range tours’ they went on with the Clantons. Gary enjoyed taking the back roads and ‘seeing some country’. Conversations with him centered around his family, cattle prices and the weather. Gary was a great husband, father, grandpa and the patriarch of our family. He will be greatly missed by all.

Survivors include Phyllis, his wife of 59 years, his sons and their families, brother-in-law and long time friend Norman Negaard, niece Tanna (Mark) Zabel and their boys Peyton, Grey and Jett; nephew Birch (Cheyann) Negaard their daughter Sherry and son Baze; brother-in-law Mike Tibbs, nieces Neilie (Doug) Goodwin, Mika (Paul) Peterson and their boys Riley and Calder, nephews Kevin Tibbs, Shawn (Steph) Tibbs and their daughters Jordyn and Cayle.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Sherry; in-laws Neil and Alice Ketchum; sister-in-law Kay Tibbs and baby Willa Peterson.

Services will be held Friday, April 9th at 1:00 pm in Buffalo, SD at the old HCHS gym where Gary spent many years supporting kids and ‘encouraging’ referees.