Born: May 25, 1936 Died: July 15, 2017
Barbara Bowlin Gilbertson, age 81, of Knoxville, died July 15, 2017 following a long and difficult struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. She was born May 25, 1936 to D.B. and Aline White of Jonesboro, Arkansas. While attending Jonesboro High School and Arkansas State University, Barbara was active in music, sports, and community activities. She married Don Bowlin from Walcott, Arkansas, and as his work with Exxon Corporation required location moves, she set up housekeeping for the family in Memphis, Little Rock, and Birmingham. She loved her family, and devoted her life to caring for them. Knoxville became their home in 1971, and they were married for 30 years until Don’s death at the age of 51. Barbara was a “people person” and enjoyed her various work positions, including catering, sales representative for Clinique cosmetics, and administrative associate at Park West Medical Center and Elliott and Associates. She was an excellent cook, loved being a member of Akima Club of Knoxville, and competing in 9 & 18 hole ladies golf groups. Music was a big part of her life, whether she was playing the piano, going to concerts, or singing in a choir. In addition to her love of music, she was devoted to University of Tennessee sports, her dogs, gardening, and most of all, her grandchildren. In 1991, Barbara married Dr. Bob Gilbertson. They were members of Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church where she was a member of the choir. Together, she and Bob enjoyed golfing, traveling, and time with friends until his death in 2011. Barbara was beautiful inside and out, and will be greatly missed by friends and family alike.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, husbands Don M. Bowlin, and Robert B. Gilbertson. She is survived by daughter and son-in-law Deanna and Frank Slagle of Knoxville; son and daughter-in-law Donnie and Abby Bowlin of Franklin, Tennessee; grandchildren, Jay Slagle and Laura Slagle of Knoxville; sisters, Martha Pierce of Jonesboro, Arkansas and Nancy Ross (Larry) of Forrest City, Arkansas; nieces Jennifer Pierce Mathus (Jimbo), Ashley Wallace (David), and Brooke Greenlee (Charles); and nephew Matt Pierce (Tara) . She is also survived by Bob’s family: Bob and Delphine Gilbertson of Seattle, Steve and Ceva Gilbertson of Milwaukee, and Tom and Jill Gilbertson of Knoxville, and also Bob’s seven grandchildren and 4 great-grand children.
The family would like to thank the staff at Little Creek for their exceptional and compassionate care of our Mom.
Barbara’s Celebration of Life service will take place 4:00 pm Thursday, July 20th 2017 at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church Chapel with Receiving of Friends immediately following the service. Burial Private. Memorials may be made to The Pat Summit Foundation, 520 W. Summit Hill Drive, Suite 1101, Knoxville, TN 37902.