Tributes to Norwich City fan held in ‘high regard by all who knew him’

Tributes have been paid to Ivan Gilbert. Picture: The Gilbert family

Tributes have been paid to Ivan Gilbert. Picture: The Gilbert family - Credit: Archant

Touching tributes have been paid to a popular builder, former parish council chairman and tireless charity worker.

The family of Ivan Gilbert have hailed his dedication, drive and commitment to the community, with many benefiting from his “generosity of spirit.”

Held in “high regard by all who knew him”, Mr Gilbert, 79, from Lowestoft, died last week after a short illness.

Born in Carlton Colville, Mr Gilbert started his working life as an apprenticed carpenter and joiner, before he went on to establish his own family building firm Gilbert Builders, with his late wife Sylvia.

Well known locally for his honesty, reliability and quality of work, the knowledge and practical experience he had gained throughout his working life, inspired Mr Gilbert to embark on numerous projects which have improved the lives of so many.

His family said: “Ivan’s hard work and enthusiasm for helping others was boundless and carried out with infectious good humour which not only benefited the recipients but inspired and influenced others.

“His depth and breadth of voluntary involvement for over 40 years was unceasing despite periods when challenging health issues affected close family members.

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“It is widely acknowledged that numerous local community projects owe their success to his drive and commitment.

“Many years of dedicated involvement in local charitable organisations ensured he had an outlet for his boundless energy – the words ‘can’t do or ‘unable to’ were never in his vocabulary.”

As a past president of Lowestoft Lions Club, Mr Gilbert was one of the principal organisers of the annual August Bank Holiday Gala Day staged at Nicholas Everitt Park in Oulton Broad.

He was also divisional president of St. John Ambulance for more than 36 years and a long-standing Freemason, being a member of Unity Lodge in Lowestoft where he served as Almoner for 26 years – a post dedicated to members welfare which is normally only held for up to three years.

A dedicated Gisleham parish councillor, he served as chairman for several years.

The family added: “The term ‘paying lip service’ to good causes certainly did not apply to Ivan Gilbert, he was an individual who really did put all his resources and energy into anything he was involved with.”

A passionate Norwich City supporter, Mr Gilbert was a shareholder and season ticket holder for many years.

His family added: “Ivan was badly affected by the passing of his wife Sylvia in March of this year, to whom he was married for 56 years.”

He leaves his son, Richard, daughter Rachel, daughter-in-law Denise, son in-law Sean as well as four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

A private funeral will take place at Gisleham Church, with limited numbers due to the Covid-19 restrictions.