On Monday, May 14, 2018, Gilbert Saparto walked into the arms of his loving heavenly Father who had been by his side during his battle with cancer.  Memorial services will be held Saturday, May 19th at 11:00am at South Everett Community Church.

He lived a rich, humble life.  He was born in Helena, MT on March 21, 1945 the 2nd of five children.  His family moved to Portland, where he attended Volunteers of America (VOA) Sunday School.  Seeds of faith and purpose were nurtured there as he leaned into youth ministry, being encouraged, taught and loved by VOA Chaplain Gene Mills.

Gilbert married the love of his life, Janette, on May 29, 1965.  Six weeks later, he was called to serve in the VOA ministry.  So began a loving, lifelong partnership as Gilbert and Janette worked together, creating a special union encompassing a 53 year marriage and a 42 year career.  VOA took them to Tacoma, San Diego, Portland, and Everett. Gilbert also served over 10 years on the VOA National Board, helping set policy and direction for the development and administration of localized human service programs. After retirement, he continued to serve VOA as a troubleshooter in various cities throughout the country.

Gilbert’s heart and soul belonged to God, family and friends.  He deeply loved, and was loved by, his four children (Debbie(Cary), Steve(Erin), Ginny(Jeremy) and Jason(Amy)), and 14 grandchildren (Ryan, Tyler, Hayden, Brennan, Brock, Casey, Madison, Cheyenne, Dawson, Megan, Antonia, Joey, Brooklynn and Josie). He either coached or attended hundreds of their sporting and fine arts events, and still found time for fishing, camping and hiking adventures.  Gilbert taught himself to play golf at a little 3-par, night-lit course in San Diego and developed a lifelong love for the game.  He celebrated two hole-in-ones and the golf course became the place where he forged some of his deepest friendships.

At his core, Gilbert faithfully honored Jesus Christ, and through Him created a legacy of compassionate service that will influence generations to come.

Please feel free to leave your love and condolences at this page or www.legacy.com/obituaries/heraldnet.

7 Responses

  1. Chris Jones

    Saparto Family,

    Gilbert was such a wonderful inspiration growing up. I have so many great memories of our families spending time together in Everett. It was amazing to see our Dad’s caring so much about the continuity around them giving back to others who needed help along the way. His smile will always stay with me and I hope you all find comfort in the fact he changed so many lives along the way. I can only hope they have an Alfy’s Pizza in heaven waiting for him…

    Chris Jones + the Jones Family

  2. Lauretta DeLaVergne

    Janette, my condolences to you and the whole family. It was a pleasure to work with you both for the years at V.O.A. Gil will leave a hole in your lives and many others and will be missed greatly. My love to all of you in your time of sorrow.

  3. SANDY STURM

    WILL NEVER FORGET HIS LOVE FOR LIFE AND NEIGHBORS HE WILL TRULY BE MISSED. HUGGS JANET AS YOU GO THRU THIS NEXT CHAPTER IN YOUR LIFE AND MAY GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU AND OTHERS THRU YOU PRAYING FOR STRENGTH

  4. Shelby Sutton

    Janette, my condolences to you and your wonderful family. I really enjoyed my time working with you and Gilbert. My prayers for you and yours.

  5. Virginia Sprague

    Gilbert had written in a Christmas Card how many wonderful memories we have . . . . So true. To me Gilbert is remembered as an extraordinary leader with wise words and a kind heart. I have many happy memories of the laughs during our Director Retreats. My condolences to you Janette and your family. Gilbert will be missed by all who knew him.

  6. Dar Clark

    Words can’t express the loss Jan and I share with the Saparto’s. Jannete, the kids and grandchildrens leader, the big guy, is gone but will never be forgotten.
    We will all weep, share sorrow, then cherish and remember the good times. God bless Jan, thinking of you all.

  7. Ignacio Castro, Jr.

    My condolences to Janette and the entire Saparto family on your loss. Gilbert built a foundation for life that will be remembered fondly by all who knew him.

    I had the pleasure of knowing Gil for a short ten years. During that time, I admired Gil’s kindness towards everyone that he talked to. Gil was a person of a gentle yet strong nature. His soft spoken words towards me and others were always positive and encouraging. He gave me counsel and advice whenever I asked. He was straight-forward and honest. Gil was an authentic gentleman who cared for others even more than he showed.

    Gilbert may you rest in peace. Thank you for your friendship.

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