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William Paul Gilbert
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Obituary for William Paul Gilbert

William Paul Gilbert, beloved son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend, was tragically killed in an automobile accident near his home in Rio Oso, California on May 11, 2018.

Born in Sacramento, California on August 2, 1968 to Bill and Nancy Gilbert, he later moved with his family to the Wheatland area to reside closer to the family walnut ranch.

Paul graduated from Browns Elementary, Wheatland High School and CSU Chico with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business. As a boy, he helped his father during the summers on the family ranch. He worked for Standard & Poors in San Francisco as an investment securities analyst and later returned to help manage the family business.

Paul was active in his community, volunteering as a coach with the South Sutter Little League, Hands of Hope and River Valley Community Foundation. He was especially involved as an officer with the Yuba Sutter Farm Bureau and participated in numerous fundraising events.

Paul truly lived each and every day to the fullest with his fun loving, compassionate and adventurous spirit. He filled the room with his loveable presence, his bright smile and his contagious laugh. Hard working, loyal and good natured, he always had so much to share and give. Known as the gentle giant, he loved children and grew his hair long on numerous occasions to donate it to Locks of Love, an organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from medical hair loss. He was passionate about snowboarding, skiing, basketball, riding his motorcycle and loved computers and developing web designs for various organizations. Music played an integral part in his life and he was an accomplished drummer.

Paul loved traveling the world in pursuit of his true passion, skydiving. He was known as Tall Paul amongst his beloved skydiving family, the Skydance skydiving team in Davis, California and he achieved over 500 jumps to earn his D license to teach. He was known for carrying his "flying camera" and he always incorporated new jumpers into activities to feel welcomed. He approached life with a fearless attitude and was praised for his mastery in videotaping team jumps. His greatest skydiving achievement was jumping 12,000 feet over the Blue Hole off the coast of Belize earlier this year. More people have landed on the moon than have skydived into the Blue Hole and Paul was featured in a magazine flying a John Deere tractor flag from his parachute. After that milestone, he created his own skydiving logo; a pair of walnuts with blue wings.

Paul is survived by his loving parents, Nancy and Bill Gilbert; his devoted sisters, Beth Townsend and Dede Gelis; and their children. Paul doted on his nieces Nicole, Allison and Emily Townsend and his nephews Andrew, Michael and Philip Gelis as if they were his own. He was a light to us all and his presence will be deeply missed by those who had the privilege of knowing him. He was larger than life in both stature and kindness while his gentle witty nature brightly shined around his family.

A celebration of Paul's life will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church, 800 D Street, Marysville, CA 95901 on Thursday, July 19, 2018, at 11:00am, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Save the Children or Locks of Love, 234 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33405.


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Previous Events

Service

Thursday

19

Jul

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
St. John's Episcopal Church

800
D Street
Marysville, CA 95901

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