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.
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