David (Asgard) Gilbert

WATERVILLE – David (Asgard) Gilbert, 83, died peacefully at home in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Nov. 24, 2021, in the company of family members and close friends.David was born on Nov. 6, 1938 in Waterville, Maine, first son of John Baptiste Gilbert and Violet (Small) Gilbert Cliche. His folks owned a farm in Albion: that was where David, his brother Mike, and his sister Mary grew up. David went to elementary school in Albion and started high school in Waterville, but decided when he was 15 that he wanted to join the Marines, which he did as soon as he turned 17. His specialties were aerial photography and military intelligence.In December 1956 -shortly after he turned 18 – he married Marjorie Pinkham. Their son Mark was born in October of 1957 when David was stationed in Paris Island.David’s first civilian job was selling Fuller Brush door-to-door in Waterville, where one of his customers – Alfred Chapman, an English professor at Colby College – took a liking to him. “Chappie” encouraged David to apply to Colby and get a college degree. It was a suggestion that changed his life.David entered Colby as a sophomore and chose English as his major, a decision that served him well in his first career as a writer and photographer for the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram, where he met his second wife, Joan Weston. At age 25 he became editor of the Chelsea (Mass.) Record. By then he had also started doing freelance work for UPI and AP wire services, where he soon earned a reputation as someone who could quickly and reliably produce both news and human-interest photographs. Some of his most iconic work was done during that time period: he covered the war in Vietnam and also photographed presidents, senators, and many other public figures. In contrast to his political and wartime photographs, he also enjoyed capturing images of ordinary people on the streets or at work.One of David’s strongest characteristics was a desire to explore new things, so in 1968 he and Joan put most of their possessions in storage and departed for England, where they spent the next year. Then it was on to Europe and the Middle East. That particular trip paused in Israel, where David worked for the Jerusalem Post. Their subsequent journey back home included travels by train to countries behind the Iron Curtain, which provided opportunities for still more photos.Once back in the U.S., David started working for the Model Cities program, then took a job as a photographer for the Manchester Union Leader. He also started a new hobby: restoring old houses (three of them in the 1970s and early ’80s). During that time period he returned to college and added another occupation: teaching English, history, and anthropology. His final career venture was into the then-relatively-new world of computers: he was a beta tester for Apple and started his own desktop publishing business.The last 20 years of his life were spent in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he made many new friends, including Dr. Carl Christensen and his wife Cathy. Even in retirement David was busy: he lectured at the University of Michigan, giving Osher talks on current American politics and the conflicts in the Middle East.David was predeceased by his parents and his son, Mark Lambert, who died in 2007.He leaves behind his former wife Marjorie Dennis of Waterville, Maine and his former wife Joan Weston of Saint Johnsbury, Vermont. He also leaves his brother, Michael Gilbert of Albion, Maine and Lake Panasoffkee, Florida and Mike’s children Michael Gilbert of Augusta, Maine and Lee Ann Wright of Stateline, Nevada. He is also survived by his sister, Mary (Gilbert) Morneau and her husband Bob of East Vassalboro, Maine, and their daughter/David’s very special niece, Dr. Michelle Bull of Pawcatuck, Connecticut, her husband Brant, and their two children, Brandon and Elizabeth. Other family members include a stepsister Linda Jackson of Winslow, two granddaughters, Mary (Lambert) Nylen of South Portland, Maine, and Megan (Lambert) Reed of Windsor, Vermont and her husband James. David is also survived by one great-granddaughter, Hannah Reed.In accordance with David’s wishes there will be no calling hours; a private burial will take place in the spring, at the convenience of the family.

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