Gilbert—Philip Louis Gilbert, 91, on November 28, 2018, peacefully, in his sleep, in Kennett Square, Pa. Phil was born on February 28, 1927, in New York City, the only child of Estelle Bernstein and Isadore Humphrey Gilbert. He attended Woodmere Academy (now Lawrence Woodmere Academy), graduating in 1944. His spiritual life was influenced by the stream of Jewish refugees he encountered while in high school and by his work on the Manhattan Project during World War II. He met Alice Wade Higley in his freshman year at Swarthmore College, where he majored in chemistry, and they married the November following their graduation in 1948. They were introduced to the Religious Society of Friends at Swarthmore and became convinced Friends after graduation.
He majored in chemistry and received his master’s in business from Adelphi University. He and Alice lived on Long Island, N.Y.; in Jamaica, Queens; Huntington Station; and Garden City. They joined Westbury (N.Y.) Meeting in 1957, where he served as clerk. He also served as clerk of Oakwood Friends School Board of Managers and on New York Yearly Meeting’s Advancement and Epistle Committees. After many years at Westbury Meeting he joined Manhasset (N.Y.) Meeting, serving on national Quaker organizations, including Friends World Committee for Consultation and Friends General Conference, for which he was on the Central and Advancement Committees.
He created and marketed innovative blood products at Certified Blood Donor Service (now Sanofi), marketed hospital and pharmaceutical information at IMS America (now IQVIA), and managed Northeast Paramedical Inc., which designed, crafted, and wholesaled prosthetic limbs, ensuring that these companies employed people of all backgrounds at their New York City locations.
In 1998, he and Alice retired to Kendal-Crosslands Communities in Kennett Square, Pa., and joined London Grove Meeting in Kennett Square. There he served on Philadelphia Yearly Meeting committees and enjoyed working with Alice to raise money at the London Grove Meeting annual flower sale.
Alice died in 2012. Phil is survived by a loving family of three children, Esther Gilbert (Christine), Elizabeth Gilbert Osterman (Richard), and Thomas Gilbert (Ellen); five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Phil’s name to Swarthmore College.