2012-03-08 / Obituaries

Deacon Gilbert G. Sablack

Deacon Gilbert G. Sablack, 71, of 230 Arbutus Ave., Manistique, Mich., went home to be with the Lord on March 2, 2012, after a several year extended illness with Pulmonary Fibrosis.

He was born Aug. 30, 1940, in Manistique, the son of the late Sylvester and Esther (Hacquist) Sablack. Gilbert graduated from Manistique High School with the Class of 1958. He continued his education at Northern Michigan University from 1959-1963 and graduated with a degree in history. In 1966, he received his master of arts degree in secondary school administration and supervision from N.M.U.

Gilbert taught history and social studies at the Engadine Consolidated Schools from 1963-1969. In 1969, he accepted a social work position with the Michigan Department of Social Services and was assigned to the Schoolcraft County department. He was promoted to the position of social work supervisor in 1974 and held that position until his retirement from state employment in 1997.

Gilbert met the love of his life, the former Rosemary A. Leach of Gulliver while they were both students at Manistique High School. They both attended Northern Michigan University and upon Rosemary’s graduation in 1964, they were united in marriage at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Manistique on Aug. 8, 1964. They have two daughters, Sherry (Gerald Jason) Arnold of Manistique and Wendy (Daniel) Hawn of Westerville, Ohio. In addition, Gilbert is survived by his grandchildren, Jacob and Katelyn Arnold and Abigail and Elizabeth Hawn. Also surviving is an aunt, Mary Jo Sablack of Manistique, along with several cousins, and nieces and nephews.

Gilbert remained active in the Catholic church all of his life. In 1994, he felt the call to further serve the Lord and he applied to the Marquette Diocese to become a Deacon in the church. He was ordained as a Permanent Deacon on June 14, 1996. As a Deacon, he was assigned to the following parishes: Naubinway, Engadine, Curtis, Gulliver and St. Francis de Sales in Manistique.

In addition to his ministry work, Gilbert remained active in many community organizations. He has been an active member of Knights of Columbus Council No. 2026 and Donald E. Messier Fourth Degree Assembly No. 504. He has held many offices including Grand Knight, Faithful Navigator of the Fourth Degree, District Deputy and as Diocesan Public Relations chairman. Gilbert held the position of captain of the certified first degree team of the K. of C.’s and was chancellor in the degree program. He also conducted the local K. of C. basketball competition each year and became the chairman of the district basketball competition which he coordinated and ran for the local District Deputy.

Gilbert held the position of Spiritual Advisor of the local conference of St. Vincent de Paul Society. He was also an active member and past president of the Manistique Rotary Club. Gilbert achieved rotary’s highest award, the Paul Harris Fellowship. He was also a member of the Manistique Elks Lodge for the past 37 years.

Gilbert has been a member of the governing board of Community Action Agency for many years and is also chairman of the Schoolcraft County Senior Companion Program. He has been a member of the board of directors of Limestone Federal Credit Union for the past 20 years and currently served as the chairman of the board. Gilbert was a member of the Manistique Ministerial Association since 2000, and enjoyed working with the pastors of many community churches involved in the group. Every one of the members held a special place in his heart as they were so much fun to be with. They all cooperated to make Manistique and the surrounding area a much better place to live.

In 1997, Gilbert and Rosemary opened the Royal Rose Bed and Breakfast which they operated from 1998-2008. It was a labor of love and it was a very enjoyable experience for both. They met many different and interesting people from all over the world.

However, for Gilbert, the most joy and most love that he received was from his family. The love and tender care of his wife Rosemary, the concern and love of his children, Sherry and Wendy, along with their husbands, Jason and Daniel was foremost in his heart. There was also a very special place in his heart for his four grandchildren, Jacob, Katelyn, Abigail and Elizabeth, who always brought big smiles to his face. He lived for his children and grandchildren.

The family greeted friends from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Manistique.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 1 p.m., at the church. The Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample, Bishop of Diocese of Marquette and Reverend Glenn Theoret of St. Francis de Sales Church concelebrated along with other attending priests. Deacons of the diocese were present.

A luncheon followed Mass at St. Francis de Sales parish center.

The Rite of Committal will take place in the spring at the Fairview Cemetery in Manistique.

Those wishing to make an expression of sympathy are kindly asked to consider St. Francis Education Foundation, 210 Lake St., Manistique or to St. Vincent de Paul Society, 231 S. Cedar St., Manistique, in Gilbert’s memory.

Messier-Broullire Funeral Home of Manistique assisted the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.mbfuneral.com.

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