Michael Gilbert

Obituary of Michael Gilbert

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Mike Gilbert took his last checkered flag on the evening of February 29, 2024. He was born in Spokane, Washington on February 20, 1941, to Lester and Alma Gilbert. Mike passed away on Leap Day nine days after his 83rd birthday unexpectedly from a heart attack in his home in Shelton, Washington. Mike was an avid baseball player in his youth, played in high school, college, semi-pro, and well into his adulthood. His other passion was racing cars, he was a 2-time SCCA National Champion in the race class of Formula Continental in 1973 and 1976. He holds many racing accolades from lap records to the Pat Pigott Award as the Most Outstanding Under 2-liter Driver. After more than a decade as a competitive racer he took time to raise his family, coached Peppermint Patty Softball, and went back to playing the hot corner (3rd Base) throughout his forties and fifties. He went on to play in the Senior Men’s Baseball World Series in Arizona multiple times. After he decided to hang up his cleats for the final time, he returned to his other passion, car racing and went on to show that at 58 years old he still had what it takes and won an ICSCC Racing Championship in the class of Formula Club Ford in 1999. This was his first season back on the track after more than 15 years away from racing. Shortly after his return to racing, his daughter Cheryl followed him. They raced for several years together, occasionally swapping cars as she races in a different race class. He worked for King County for 30 years as a Traffic Engineer and in his "retirement” years he went on to teach high performance driving at ProFormance Driving School at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington for 20 years, which coincided with his return to racing. Even up to his death he still had his fabled Lotus 41 which he won his first national championship with and was still wanting to go racing. Mike is survived by his wife Diane of over 51 years, who stood by him throughout his many racing and baseball accomplishments. They enjoyed traveling together and spending time on the island of Kauai during their 53-year long relationship. He leaves behind his five children Mike, Tony, Rae Anne, Scott, and Cheryl. He also leaves behind his eight grandchildren, as well as four great grandchildren, and many more family members. It should be mentioned that he was a huge animal lover, especially for cats and is also survived by his two kitties Viktor and Daisy. Mike was a unique man with a larger-than-life personality who had a gift for gab and his racing stories are a thing of legend among the racing community. He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy for his family who misses him dearly. A Celebration of Life will be held in Shelton, Washington on Saturday August 3, 2024. You can still show your support by making a donation to Kitten Rescue of Mason County .
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A Memorial Tree was planted for Michael
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at McComb & Wagner Family Funeral Home and Crematory
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Michael Gilbert

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Michael Gilbert

1941 - 2024

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