WILLMAR -- Stephen Joseph Gilbertson, 65, of Willmar, died Saturday at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester following an illness of 13 months.
The service will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar. Burial will be at Eagle Lake Lutheran Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by American Legion Post 167 and VFW Post 1639 of Willmar.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar, with a Sharon Masonic Lodge service at 7 p.m., and for one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials are preferred to Calvary Lutheran Church, Shriner's Hospital for Children or Boy Scout Troop 224.
He was born April 11, 1943, in Willmar to George and Irene (Berg) Gilbertson. He grew up in Willmar and graduated from Willmar High School in 1961. He attended St. Cloud State University, graduating in 1966 with a degree in business administration. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served from 1966 to 1970, working in a flight surgeon's office, flying helicopter rescues and performing in-flight evaluations of flying personnel as a medic. In 1968, he received the Bronze Star with a "V" for valor in Vietnam.
He married Carol Buetow on June 7, 1975, in Willmar. He owned Gilbertson Oil petroleum distribution in Willmar. He was a member of Calvary Lutheran Church and was active in several church committees and served as an adult leader for Boy Scout Troop 224. He was a master of the Sharon Masonic Lodge in Willmar, a member of the Zurah Shrine Temple, president of the Willmar Area Shrine Club and worthy patron of the Order of the Eastern Star. He was president of the Minnesota Petroleum Association, vice president of the Willmar Area Chamber of Commerce, president of Eagle Creek Golf Club, president of the Owls Club, a member of the Elks Lodge and was a member of the Bethesda Homes Board of Directors. He was a member of the American Legion and VFW in Willmar.
He is survived by his wife; his children: Stephanie (and Trent) Cowan of Gilbert, Ariz., and Thomas G. Gilbertson of Willmar; one granddaughter; siblings: John (and Karin) Gilbertson of Willmar and Ellin (and David) Wentzell of Willmar.