In Loving Memory C. MICHAEL GILBERT 05 Sep., 1953 - 28 Sep., 2015 Charles Michael Gilbert, 62, of Kaneohe, Hawaii passed away in his home that he built, with his wife Jody and loyal pet Golden Retriever Tanner at his side on 28 Sep, 2015. Mike was born in Inglewood, CA, on 05 Sep., 1953 to Yvonne and Charles Gilbert. The family moved to Oahu in 1959 when Mike was just 4 years old. He attended Ma'e Ma'e Elementary School, Lanikai Elementary School, Kailua Intermediate School and Kailua High School and graduated from the University of Hawaii with a B.A.in Mathematics, and as an AFROTC Cadet Corps Flight Commander, Executive Officer. Mike had a stellar career with the US Air Force flying the KC-135 refueling aircraft and as a Strategic Air Command Central Flight Instructor. In 1988 he became a Chief Instructor Pilot: Managed ground and flight training of squadron pilots. Air Craft Commander for KC-135: Airborne Command Post operations throughout the North American and Pacific Ocean Regions. Instrument School Instructor. Supervisor of Flying. Life Support Officer. With the Hawaii Air National Guard 1993-'98 he was Aircraft Commander, KC-135: Worldwide Air Refueling and Transportation operations. Supervisor of Flying, Instrument School Instructor. In Oct., 1995, Hawaii Air National Guard's 2-year old 203rd Air Refueling Squadron, underwent its first combat deployment, flying peace keeping missions in support of NATO fighters over Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mike was actively involved leading many deployments to Europe over the course of the next 3 years. Before all this, Mike embraced a simple country life in Lanikai as a child in the early 1960's. He surfed from the age of 8 and spent many summers on the Mokulua islands, surfing, diving and exploring with daily paddles into shore for supplies and a meal or two. After high school Mike worked as a Volkswagen/Porsche mechanic. He was mentored by a friend who had been a pilot in the Viet Nam War and was then working for Aloha Airlines. Mike had always wanted to be a pilot and took his friend's advice, joined the ROTC program at University of Hawaii and after completing his college education was accepted into the US Air Force pilot training program. His ardor to become a pilot was only surpassed by his passion for surfing. As the sky was his workplace, the ocean was his playground. He learned Hawaiian as a second language in College and could name every fish in the Hawaiian waters by their Hawaiian, Latin and American names. He embraced the Hawaiian culture and morals and they guided him well though his life and his career as a Captain in the US Air Force, as a Major in the Hawaii Air National Guard and a Captain at Aloha Airlines. He thrived as a pilot but his life energy was nurtured by the ocean he loved. He was also a proud member of many charitable organizations. The mailbox is filled everyday with their reminders. He has been a lifetime supporter of Hawaii Public Radio since its inception, Green Peace, Save Sandy Beach, Save our Surf, Doctors without Borders, River of Life, Save Tibet, the Sierra Club, Hawaiian Humane Society, Smile Train, Cancer Society, Susan Komen Race for the Cure. Alzheimer's Society...the list is long and his intentions were true, to "give back because he could". He was the epitome of goodness and kindness. He received numerous awards and commendations throughout his military career matched only by the number of surfboards, windsurfers, and assorted ocean toys that decorate the halls and garage. Mike is survived by his loving wife, Jody Feiteira Gilbert, sisters Cathy Gilbert Rogers and Debi Gilbert Wiley, brother Danny Gilbert and his faithful four legged "best friend" Tanner. Mike was predeceased by his father Charles Gilbert, his step-father Ronald Beers and his mother Yvonne "Sam" Beers. Mike willed his body to the University of Hawaii John Burns School of Medicine. His remains will be returned to us in 12-18 months when we will have a formal military/surfer send off. We will all celebrate his love of flying and his connection with the ocean at a backyard celebration of his life to be held at our home on Sat. Oct 17, 2015 from noon - 5pm on the shore of Kaneohe Bay as the Blue Angels guide him to the heavens one more time. "One fond embrace, A ho'i a'e au Until we meet again."
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased