Christopher Lee (Kip) Gilbertson died peacefully at the age of 82, on Tuesday, August 2, 2022, at 8:02 PM, after a long battle with cancer and a very short battle with Covid-19. Kip was born on August 20, 1939, to Archie and Barbara (Lee) Gilbertson in Spring Grove, MN.
After WWII began, Archie, Barbara and Kip moved to Long Beach, CA, where Archie worked in the shipyards, and Kip began his primary education. After the war, the family moved back to Minnesota, first to Peterson, then to Winona, where Kip started eighth grade. He made many life-long friends, with whom he graduated in 1957 from Winona Senior High. His class always remained close, and Kip was looking forward to his 65th reunion in September.
In the summer of 1958, he met his future wife, Joanne Wendt, and they never looked back. Kip and Joanne married on July 22, 1961. They were blessed with two wonderful daughters, Wendi and Lori, who added two great sons-in-law, five grandchildren, and so far, three great-grandchildren to the family. Kip and Joanne celebrated 61 years of marriage on July 22, 2022.
After a three-year stint with the MN Highway Department, Kip restarted his education at Winona State. He graduated in 1964, and became a teacher at Winona Senior High, and later at the Winona Middle School. He loved his work until the day he retired in 1999.
Kip had a life-long love affair with cars until the end. The many car clubs he belonged to were very important in his life. Through it all, he made many friends, all of whom he treasured.
Kip is survived by his wife, Joanne; daughters, Wendi (Bruce) Schneider and Lori (Joe) Brandon; grandchildren, Ashley (Chris Dove) Schneider, Hannah (Collin) Mairena, and Hunter, Anna and David Brandon; great-grandchildren, Jonah Schneider, Delilah Dove and Olive Holly Mairena. He is also survived by his much loved sister, Naomi Anderson and her children: Tim Anderson, Jenna (Bill) Lightfoot, and Kristina (Darryl) Schriner and their son, James.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Archie and Barbara Gilbertson; in-laws, John and Louise Wendt; sister, Jeanie; brother, Charles; and brothers-in-law, Jim Michaelis and Jim Anderson.
Funeral services will be held at 11 AM on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (corner of Broadway and Lafayette, Winona). Fr. Jon Spinillo will officiate.
Visitation will be held from 4 PM until 7 PM, on Monday, August 15, 2022, at the Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home, 376 E. Sarnia, Winona. There will not be any visitation held on Tuesday, please meet at the church for the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorials be directed to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, or to your own personal choice.
The family would like to extend their deepest appreciation for the care Kip received at Gundersen Health, both in La Crosse and Winona, especially to the nurses and staff at the Winona Infusion Center. They truly eased the way through his very difficult last ten months. He loved and appreciated all of you.
Online condolences and memories may be left for Kip’s family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com