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Gilbert A. "Gib" Sheldon

May 24, 1926 February 11, 2019
Gilbert  A. "Gib" Sheldon
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Obituary for Gilbert A. "Gib" Sheldon

Arthur Gilbert Sheldon (Gib) passed away on Monday February 11, 2019 in his hometown of Clarence, Iowa, at the age of 92. He was born on May 22, 1926 to George W. and Nettie Hanks Sheldon – the fourth of their nine children. He was preceded in death by his siblings Helen, George Jr., Dale, John, Donna, Dean, and Don, and is survived by his sister Shirley.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1946, spending time in the Philippines and Japan.

Gib married the love of his life, Rosalie Sander, on March 25, 1949 in Clarence. Having enjoyed growing up in a large family, they built a large family of their own. He and Rosalie had eight children: Dennis (Virginia), Connie, Philip (Jackie), Janice, Barbara (John), Ronnie (Rick), Nancy, and Jill (Craig); 11 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

The loss of two sons, Dennis (2002) and Philip (2008) and daughter Nancy (2015) saddened him immensely. He was heartbroken when Rosalie, his wife of 59 years, died early in 2009.

Gib’s father taught him and his brothers carpentry, and they worked alongside each other for many years. Brother Dale eventually took over the family business, so Gib worked for him until Dale’s death in 1973. From 1974 until his retirement in 1991, he worked for the Clarence River Valley Co-op. Once he retired, he spent plenty of time “tinkering.”

Gib had an incredible work ethic and believed in fixing or repurposing things rather than throwing them away. He was especially passionate about fixing bicycles. People would ask him to fix their bikes or sometimes simply leave them at the house. Sometimes he’d claim bikes others set out by the curb as garbage. Regardless, he’d lovingly repair them and wound up with quite a collection.

For many years, especially after he retired and even into his 90s, you could find Gib on one of his favorite bicycles riding around town – putting on several miles in every direction. During these rides, he would pick up cans, becoming known to many as “the can man.”

Gib loved telling stories about his life to his family and friends. And he was a great storyteller — including tales of boyhood pranks with friends, his days in the service, or emerging relatively unscathed after most of his many mishaps, from falling off or crashing through roofs to falling from a tree while holding a running chainsaw. Miraculously, he sustained few serious injuries, except one time when he tore ligaments in his ankle, which kept him out of work for six weeks.

Gib will be greatly missed by family and friends.

He will be cremated. A memorial service will be held at a later date, with a private burial of his ashes planned for St. John’s United Church of Christ Cemetery in Clarence.

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Event Information

Services will be set for a future date to be determined.

Cemetery Details


St. John's Cemetery Final Resting Place

Clarence, IA 52216

Clarence 52216 IA
United States

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