Sunday, April 20, 2014

Gil Depew

Date of Birth: 04/08/1932

From Lorraine Depew:  

  I was only in 5th grade when my grandfather passed away from complications with diabetes.  Although my young age makes it difficult for me to remember him, when our family gets together the memories we share make it feel like he never left us. 

  Gilbert Eli Depew was born April 8, 1932 in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  At a young age Gil moved to New York with his parents, Gilbert and Hilda, and his sister, Nancy.  His father managed an apartment building in Brooklyn and his mother worked in the linen department of Macys. 

  Gil often came back to the Susquehanna County area to visit and work in the quarry for his Uncle.  On one of his visits, Gil met Audrey Kilmer, and they married on May 18, 1950.  Shortly after getting married they had their first son, Gilbert Chester, and they moved to Brooklyn, New York.  Gil followed in his father's footsteps and began to manage his own apartment building, while Audrey became pregnant with their second son, Lawrence Richard. 

  A couple of years later the whole family moved to Lenox, Pennsylvania and Gil eventually began to work in the quarry again.  Throughout the next few years, David Edward and Linda Carrie were born. 

  Gil enjoyed spending time with his wife and children.  He was really a kid at heart and was constantly getting into some type of innocent trouble with his sons.  I've often heard my grandmother say that sometimes she felt like she was raising four boys instead of three.  

  He loved all types of animals and there was always some type of animal in the house; pet dogs, pet skunks, a pet deer and a pet Squirrel named Theodore.   

  He also enjoyed singing.  He frequently sang at church services and weddings, but his favorite place to sing was in the quarry.  If he wasn't singing some well-known song, he was singing about a piece of quarry equipment breaking or a load that needed to be finished. 

  Gil was very successful in the quarry business.  He took what he learned from his uncle and through is own experience and helped many of the individuals who are currently flourishing in this business get started.  His friendship and willingness to help people get ahead, instead of keeping the knowledge to himself, is what earned him the nickname "King of the Quarrymen".  A nickname that, although may not mean much to others, means a great deal to his family, who know it means less about being a great quarryman and more about being a great person. 

  I think my grandfather was best described in the eulogy his brother-in-law, Cecil Kilmer, gave at his funeral.  

   "Friends would say he was a friend of friends.  Neighbors would say he was the neighbor of neighbors.  Sisters and brothers-in-laws would say he was the brother-in-law of brother-in-laws.  Nieces and nephews would say he was the uncle of uncles.  His sister, Nancy, would say he was the brother of brothers.  His children would say he was the father of fathers.  His grandchildren would say he was the grandpa of grandpas.  His wife Audrey would say he was the husband of husbands."  

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