On Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, God called home John Gilbert, 78. A longtime resident of Tupelo, he passed away at home.
John was born July 21, 1940, to John Amos Gilbert and Dorotha Brewer Stewart in Clarksdale.
He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and “Pops.”
He was a mentor to many young people in his lifetime. He had a special affinity for children and youth. He spent many years coaching, teaching and refereeing in some capacity in the Mississippi education system. He also spent many years in city and church youth programs serving as a coach, referee and leader.
To many children, he was known as “Mr. MegaSports” when he owned and operated MegaSports Family Fun Center in Tupelo.
John was a lifetime Ole Miss Rebel fan and enjoyed attending and watching sports of all kinds.
He was an avid sportsman and hunter and spent a great deal of time with his sons and grandchildren teaching them to love and care for our great outdoors. He was a much-loved man who will be missed by so many.
Survivors include his loving wife of 56 years, Polly Gilbert; daughters, Lori Pruitt of Tupelo, Teresa Stanford of Tupelo, and Jessica Harrell and her husband, Randy, of Jacksonville Beach, Fla.; sons, Johnny Gilbert and his wife, Stephanie, of Collierville, Tenn., and Josh Gilbert and his wife, Melissa, of Jacksonville Beach; eight grandchildren, Rob Pruitt and his wife, Michelle, of Tupelo, Nikki Grammer of Southaven, Kyle Stanford of Southaven, Alycia Gilbert of Seattle, Wash., Hailey Gilbert of Collierville, and Sam Harrell, Presley Rose Harrell and Audrey Harrell, all of Jacksonville Beach; two great-grandchildren, Mia Pruitt and Reese Pruitt, both of Tupelo; brothers, Jerry Gilbert and his wife, Marsha, of Tupelo, Meyer Gilbert and his wife, Rodainah, of Siloam Springs, Ark., and Scott Stewart, of Tupelo; a very special brother-in-law and friend, Robert Wills; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father, Amos, and his wife, Amy Gilbert, and mother, Dorotha, and her husband, C.L. Stewart; and brother, Mike Stewart.
Visitation will be held from 5 until 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, and from 1 p.m. until service time, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, at W.E. Pegues in Tupelo.
Services honoring his life will be 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, 2019, at the Jefferson Street Chapel of W.E. Pegues with the Rev. David Smith of Harrisburg Baptist Church officiating. Private family graveside services will be held in Tupelo Memorial Park.
Pallbearers will be Allan Gilbert, Hunter Gilbert, Lavelle McAlpin, Audie Robertson, James Wills, Dennis Wills, Randy Wills and Corey Wills.
Honorary pallbearers will be his former football players.
Memorials may be made to The American Cancer Society at donate3.cancer.org.
Expressions of sympathy may be left at www.peguesfuneralhome.com.