BRIDGEWATER - Robert H. “Bob” Gilson, age 95 , of Bridgewater died on April, 14 at Baypoitnte Rehabilitation Center with his family and special violin music at his side He was the beloved husband of Betty (Perkins) Gilson for 70 years. Born in Taunton, the son of the late Forrest R. and Nellie Margueurite (Wyman) Gilson, he grew up in Taunton and graduated from Taunton High School class of 1943.
After graduation he enlisted in the U. S. Naval Reserve and served during WW II as a radar operator. He received the World War II, American Area and Asiatic Pacific medals. He attended New England Conservatory as a special violin student, graduated from Waltham School of Watchmaking and was certified as a watchmaker by the Horological Institute of America. During his career as a watch repairman, he worked for Gurney Bros., Romm Jewelers and Moran Jewelers all of Brockton, as well as an inspector at Chelsea Clock.
In later years he returned to his first passion - playing the violin. His first teacher was the late Doris (Dow) Clapp Schultz, a member of the first all Women's Symphony in Boston, MA. For several years be studied with the late Ron Knudsen of the Boston Symphony and conductor of the New Philharmonia Orchestra, taking lessons in both violin playing and violin repair. He also took a course in bow repair with Arnold Bone of Needham. Over the years he played in the Taunton Orchestral Club and Brockton Symphony, and as a soloist in several area churches. He made over a dozen violins, one viola, repaired and rebuilt many more violins, cellos and a viola. In addition to his work as a luthier, Bob was also adept at maintaining and repairing all sorts of equipment and appliances. He was a member of First Parish Church of Bridgewater where he served on several committees and at one time restored all the pews in the sanctuary. He was also a member of the American Legion.
After retirement Bob enjoyed traveling the country with Betty to visit National Parks, Monuments and Recreational areas. They visited more than 22, camping in several of them, sometimes visited by bears. They also enjoyed several trips to Europe. On one visit with friends in Denmark he played a violin duet and also “Meditation” from the opera Thais at an old church near their friends' home in Agerbaek. In addition to his wife he is survived by his four children: Atty. Matthew Gilson and his wife Mary of Hingham, Thais and her husband Christopher Kasmarek of Corinth, VT, Charles and his wife Maureen of Middleboro and Michael and his wife Teresa Goodwin-Gilson of Onset. He was the grandfather of Daniel Kasmarek (Elizabeth) of Norfolk, Atty. Emily (Michael) Brown of Vermont; Reba Addison Kasmarek (Randy Durett) of Vermont; Molly Gilson (Bryce White) of Taunton; Connor, and lan Gilson of Middleboro,; and Cody and Jack Goodwin-Gilson of Onset; step grandfather of Atty. Amy Lafont of Dedham. Also great grandfather of Winsome and May Brown of VT; and Isabelle and Elena Lafont of Dedham, as well as uncle of many nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his brother Colby Gilson of FL; his sister Elisabeth Karnes of WA; his sister Mary Gay of CO; and his sister Ruth McIntyre of Taunton.
Internment will take place at the National Cemetery in Bourne for immediate family. A celebration of his life will be held for family and friends in the summer, at First Parish U U Church, 50 School St., Bridgewater. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to First Parish Church, 50 School St., Bridgewater, MA 02324 or the New Philharmonia Orchestra, 1301 Centre St., Newton, MA 02459.
Arrangements by Leighton-MacKinnon Funeral Home, 4 West Washington St. (Corner Rte. 58), Hanson, MA.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert H. Gilson, please visit our floral store.