Debra Ann Gilbert was born January 18, 1956 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was the daughter of Alvin and Lottie Marie (Wilson) Brisbin. Debbie was raised and attended school in Cleveland where she was extremely active in Cleveland High School band as a first chair clarinet, and band royalty, Debbie was also a member of National Honor Society, Future Home Makers, Pep Club, a twirler, and was a member of the graduating class in 1974.
Shortly after graduation, Debbie was married to David Gilbert on September 14, 1974 at the Western Heights Baptist Church in Cleveland. The couple established their home in Cleveland and remained in the Cleveland area throughout their married life. David and Debbie welcomed their first son Jason David in January 1979, and their second son Matthew Robert was born May 1982.
Debbie was a stay at home mom during the early stages of their children's life, and was extremely active in the boy’s school activities. She never missed one of her boys football games, and was also very involved in FFA with Mathews calves during livestock shows, and fairs. Debra also served as secretary of the Cleveland Ag Booster Club, and was still serving as secretary at the time of her death.
As the boys grew older, Debra accepted a position in marketing for the Nabisco Company and worked as a Nabisco merchandiser throughout the area for nearly twelve years. She ensured that their products where properly displayed at area stores; leaving the company in 2003. In 2006, Debbie accepted a position with the Osage Nation at the Casino in Hominy as a cage cashier/banker. She recently celebrated ten years with the casino, and was still employed there at the time of her death.
Debbie had the unique ability to make anyone feel comfortable, and welcome around her. Debbie has a huge extended family due to her boys bringing friends home as they were growing up, and Debbie made each one of them feel like family. She has made countless friends and acquaintance while working at the casino in Hominy. Debbie loved to bake and cook, and was most famous for her noodle recipe which her family loved. The holidays were important times around the Gilbert house and Debra loved decorating and preparing for each holiday season. Debbie made the best homemade popcorn balls, and caramel apples. She and David loved handing them out to all of the trick-or-treaters every Halloween. She ensured that the holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter became family traditions, and she leaves a legacy of these holiday traditions behind.
Debbie often expressed that her mother had the most influence on her life. As a child Debbie enjoyed spending time with her uncle Bill, and aunt Eva Lois Brisbin, Alma and Harold Pense, and many other members of her extended family. She enjoyed all types of music mainly soft rock and country. Some of her favorites artists were K. T. Oslin, Miranda Lambert, Sawyer Brown and Diamond Rio.
Debbie was a devoted wife, mother, sister, aunt, and Meme, and was loved so much, by so many. After her first grandchild Hayleigh was born, she often joked how she wished her boys had been girls because she loved shopping for girls. As the grandchildren grew in number to nine, she found a place in her heart for each one, and loved to share her time with each of them.
Her hobbies included bingo, crafting, was an avid collector of dolls, and “I Love Lucy” collectables. In her spare time she enjoyed watching old black and white movies. Some of her fondest memories were family vacations to Branson once or twice a year. Some other memorable times were vacations to Los Angeles to visit Disneyland, and to San Antonio where they went to Sea World. She was an Oklahoma State University Cowboy fan, and also loved the Chicago Cubs.
Debra passed from this life to her heavenly home on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at the St. John Medical Center in Tulsa at the age of sixty-one years, one month, and nineteen days. She was preceded in death by her parents.
She is survived by her husband, David of the home; two sons and their wives, Jason and Desiree Gilbert of Cleveland, and Matthew and Teri Lynn Gilbert, also of Cleveland; nine grandchildren, Hayleigh, Haiden, Kyler, Jacob, Gavin, Jaxon, Meredith, Brenton and Maccie; three brothers, Don and Mary Brisbin of Bartlesville, Steve Brisbin of Mannford, and Mark and Daisy Brisbin of Cleveland; many other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends who will mourn her passing.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at the Western Heights Baptist Church with Rev. David Head officiating. Burial will be at the Woodland Cemetery under the direction of the Chapman-Black Funeral Home. Donations can be made to the Cleveland Ag Booster Club for the trailer fund.