Gilbert Repetto, the son of immigrant parents Estephan and Bastina, passed away on April 2nd, 2020 at the age of 91. He was born in New York City in 1928 and raised in Weehawken, New Jersey. He was predeceased by his wife Maureen Repetto and survived by his sons Gilbert Repetto Jr. of Blairstown, New Jersey, David Repetto of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and his godson, Neil Wright of Vienna, Virginia.
Gilbert was a loving husband, a dedicated father, a proud grandpa and a loyal friend. His charisma, perseverance and work ethic allowed for him to excel in many aspects of his life. As a young adult he was drafted to serve in the Korean War. His bravery and strong leadership skills paved the way for him to become Sergeant with the “Wolfhounds” (Nec Aspera Terrent or No Fear on Earth) 27th Army Infantry Regiment. In later years, while sharing stories about his time spent during the war, he would always say, “I’m glad I had the experience, but I wouldn’t want to do it again – Not even for a million dollars.”
After the war, Gilbert continued to work diligently, and his efforts paid off. He eventually became the Mechanic Owner and Operator of several Crown and Mobile Gas Stations in the Bergen County Area. He retired at the age of 59 and settled in the small town of Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. His retirement was short-lived due to his strong passion for work and he came out of retirement to work for Spohrer Compressor Services. He was a loyal, hard-working employee until his second retirement at the age of 85.
Being generous and caring came easy to Gilbert and it was evident when he and his wife Maureen, opened their home to West Point Cadets in the 90’s. Over a period of six years, dozens of cadets found Gilbert’s home a place of comfort while on leave. Many would not forget his hospitality and would continue to stay in touch with him. His acts of kindness did not stop there. Gilbert and Maureen extended their hearts to their neighbors, William and Olivia “Jennie” Dabalse-Donnelly and their two adopted children, Phillip and Jennifer Donnelly. Their willingness to help care for Phillip and Jennifer, while Jennie and her husband worked, allowed them to create a “family” bond, eventually deeming Phillip and Jennifer their “adopted grandchildren.”
Gilbert was a courageous man. His heart, big – his corny jokes, endless. His upbeat personality could brighten up even the darkest of rooms. His smile and laughs were infectious. The knowledge and wisdom he generously shared with others was always enlightening. His way of storytelling had the ability to make those around him give their undivided attention. In times of sadness or uncertainty, you could always count on him to lift your spirits up. He was a jack of all trades, if you needed help with your car, fixing a faucet – You name it – without hesitation, he would do it. His selflessness and compassion had no limitations and as a result he was hands down the best kind of friend. Whether it was family, friends or passersby, Gilbert left an unforgettable mark in their lives and hearts. The impact he left and the values he taught are unrivaled. For all those who had the blessing of knowing him and to those he was a part of their lives, his absence is saddening. While time will heal the pain of losing him – he will never be forgotten. The memory of this extraordinary father, grandfather and friend will always live on in our hearts.
Special thanks to Joy and Ursula Dabon for their joint efforts in caring for Gilbert.