Johnny Lee Gilbert of Milton was born to Ernest and Queen Ester Gilbert May 14, 1941, in Cuthbert, Ga. He passed away peacefully after fighting a long illness Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, at Christiana Care Hospital in Newark. Johnny Lee attended Shellman Vocational School in Shellman, Ga. As an adult he worked at King Cole Canning Company for 29 years and Cargill/Paramount/ Allens as a sanitation technician for 16 years before he retired.
Johnny Lee has played the guitar all of his life, and spent his retirement years playing for several churches and upon request. He gave guitar lessons to family and friends, and was known for taking long walks around Milton. He loved to drive and would take anyone anywhere they needed to be. He was Uber and Lyft before Uber and Lyft got started. He loved talking to people; everyone was a friend. Family was very important to him. Not only did he love and cherish his own family, but he loved and respected his wife's family as well. To Sara Hill, he loved you dearly.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Queen Ester Gilbert; father, Ernest Gilbert Sr.; two brothers, Eddie and Ernest Gilbert Jr.; and nephew, Bernard McSwain.
Johnny Lee is survived by his wife of 52 years, Marjorie Gilbert; surviving sister, Mattie Ree McSwain; his seven children, Alvin Hill (Nichole) of Coolsprings, Johnny Hill of Milford, Cathy Hill of Manhattan, N.Y., Wanda Howell of Bowie, Md., Ernest Gilbert of Dover, Queena Gilbert of East Brunswick, N.J., and Jene Duffy Lewes; his honorary brothers Joe Lewis and J. W. Wendall; a nephew; three nieces; 16 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; a host of great-nieces and -nephews; and a close friend, Marvin Duffy of Rehoboth.
Johnny Lee has lived a long and fulfilling life with many blessings and memories to cherish. He will be missed by all.
Celebration of Life Service will be held Saturday, Jan. 6, 1 p.m., at Mt. Zion Holiness Church, 325 Front St., Milton, with a two-hour viewing prior to the service. To offer words of comfort , or sign the guest book visit www.benniesmithfuneralhome.com. Professional services entrusted to Bennie Smith Funeral Home, Millsboro.