Joseph Gibilisco, 98, of Rochester passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 7 with family by his side.
Joseph was born February 6, 1924 in Omaha, Nebraska, one of seven children in a large and loving Italian family. He graduated from Omaha's Tech high school in 1940.
Joe began his college career at Creighton University in Omaha. In 1942 he was selected for the Army Specialized Training Program and pursued his medical training at Yale University. He went on to earn Doctor of Dental Surgery and Master of Science in Dentistry degrees at his beloved University of Minnesota.
While studying at the U of M Joe met his future wife, Josephine, who was completing her Master's degree in Industrial Relations. They were married on August 7, 1951 in Minneapolis.
Dr. Gibilisco worked as an Associate Professor in the medical and dental programs at Creighton University and the University of Alabama. In 1954, he completed his military service as a captain in the US Air Force in the School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX.
Joe and Jo moved to Rochester in 1956 when Dr. Gibilisco joined the Department of Dentistry at the Mayo Clinic, which he chaired from 1962-1976. Joe served as a Professor of Dentistry at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Medical School. After retirement, he was instrumental in the founding of the Salvation Army Good Samaritan Dental Clinic, where he remained involved as a board member and consultant.
In addition to his clinical, research, and teaching work, Joe was an active member of many civic and community organizations, including the Southeastern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Greater Rochester Area University Center, and U of M Rochester Regents Advisory Board. He maintained his lifelong connection to the University of Minnesota through his support of the Alumni Association and as an avid Gophers fan and booster. Joe was an active and dedicated member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, serving for many years on a variety of church committees.
Joe was the proud and loving father of three and grandfather of three. He valued time with family and friends, especially when they could be together sharing a meal, spending time at the cabin, or cheering on the Gophers or the Twins. He loved to engage those around him with his warmth and sense of humor. He was always ready with a story and eager to find connections with everyone he met.
Joe is survived by two children, Marilyn (Rex) Boutelle of St. Paul and Carol (Darrel) VanderZee of Onalaska, Wis., three grandchildren, Tony Boutelle, Tim Boutelle and Samuel VanderZee. He is preceded in death by his wife, Josephine, son Stanley and six siblings.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 on Saturday, July 30 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Rochester, 1884 22nd St. N.W. Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service at the church.
Memorials can be directed to St. Luke's Episcopal Church Growth Fund or Good Samaritan Dental Clinic, 120 N. Broadway, Rochester, MN 55906.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the dedicated staff of Charter House for their care and compassion. Ranfranz and Vine is honored to be serving the Gibilisco family; to leave a condolence or special memory please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com
Rochester, MN 55901
I was deeply saddened by the news of Joe's death. He was a great friend and colleague and was a wise adviser to me during my tenure on the U of Minnesota Board of Regents. Few have given such enormous support to the U in so many ways. Often I think of the joy of being with Joe and Jo.
Heartfelt condolences to all the family members. H. Bryan* Neel, MD, PHD