It is with sadness that we share with you the passing of Dr. Bob Gilbreth. Dr. Bob peacefully entered his eternal rest at home surrounded by family. A celebration of his life will be held at a future “post-COVID” date. Please keep Fritz and the Gilbreth family in your prayers. Services will be under the direction of Hiett’s LyBrand Funeral Home.
Robert Wayne Gilbreth, D.D.S., 79, of Wills Point, TX, passed away peacefully September 12, 2020.
Bob was born May 2, 1941, in Frederick, Oklahoma, to Hubert Marvin Gilbreth and Luella Ruth Hyde. He attended Frederick schools through high school, graduating in 1959. While in high school, he participated in church music programs and earned state music accomplishments. Music marked his every step and endeavor though life, and his ministry of music was a gift from God, shared with many along the way.
Bob attended Hardin Simmons University on a music scholarship with his eyes focused on a degree in vocal performance. Shortly after setting foot on campus, he became a charter member of Tau Alpha Phi and composed the fraternity’s anthem. He then helped bring All School Sing to Hardin Simmons University in 1960, which was patterned after Baylor University’s Sing. His Tau Alpha Phi brothers remember Bob for his winning smile, engaging personality, brilliance, musical talent, and for directing and encouraging a “not so gifted band of brothers” to win the first 4 years of Sing. His passion for music flourished in these years, and his talent for piano performance began to shine. Other instruments which provided fun for his family over the years included guitar and upright bass, but they most enjoyed hearing him sing and play the piano. In 1962, Bob changed his degree to pre-dental; he graduated from Hardin Simmons in 1964 with a BA. He enrolled in Baylor College of Dentistry and graduated in 1968 with a doctorate of dental surgery. Throughout his years of higher education, he was always found in choirs from Abilene to Dallas, either singing or directing.
After one year of dental practice in Ft. Worth, he established a part time practice in Wills Point in 1969. Enjoying the small town and all the people, he decided that is where he wanted to settle down. He married Elfrieda (Fritz) Godat in Dallas in 1970, and they moved to Wills Point. He practiced dentistry for 43 years, continuing to hum and sing to his patients, before retiring. While active in his profession, he received his Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2001 and awarded Mastership in 2015.
Bob’s community service also began early in his years as a Wills Point resident. He served the community as councilman and mayor from 1975 to 1985, and as a Rotarian from 1970 to 1990. Along with Adele Monning, he organized the WP Youth Soccer Program in 1980, serving as the first president of the association. Most impressionable on those who knew him was his active involvement in the music ministry at Russell Memorial United Methodist Church from 1970 through 2020, and he embraced these roles with joy! His positions included pianist, youth choir director, and minister of music.
Bob will be missed by so many of us whose lives were made better or challenged by him.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Hubert Marvin and Luella Ruth Gilbreth; brother, Hubert Lee Gilbreth.
Bob is survived by his wife, Fritz Gilbreth of Wills Point, TX; daughter, Monica G. McClellan and husband, Tad of McKinney, TX; son, Chris Gilbreth and wife, Melissa of Blythewood, SC; grandsons, Alex, Jonathan and Robert McClellan, all of McKinney, TX; granddaughters, Emmalyn and Julianne Gilbreth of Blythewood, SC; nieces, Nancy Myers of Renton, WA, Jana Hayes of Edmond, OK, Karen Whitworth of Stillwater, OK, and Ellen Jo Higgins of Ft. Smith, AR.
The family wishes memorial contributions in memory of Bob be made to Russell Memorial United Methodist Church: 201 S 4th St, Wills Point, TX 75169
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