Frances "Fran" Arlene (Owens) Gilbert

February 21, 1927 ~ November 2, 2021 (age 94)

Obituary Image


Rushford --- Frances Arlene Owens Gilbert of 8901 Lower Street passed away Tuesday, November 2, 2021 in Olean General Hospital.  “Fran” was born February 21, 1927, in Cleveland, Ohio, daughter of the late Lynn J. and Chloe Dick Owens. On October 24, 1945 in the Rushford Baptist Church she married Reed Gilbert who predeceased her on November 10, 2013.

The Owens family settled in the 1800s in the Freedom area.  Fran graduated from Rushford Central School in 1945 and in that same year she married Reed Davies Gilbert, also a graduate of Rushford Central School and Cornell University.  In the early years of their marriage, Fran and Reed, along with their growing family of six children, moved around New York State as dictated by Reed’s employment during which time Frances worked as a Secretary for GLF in Ithaca and E.N. Rowell Company in Batavia. In 1960 they returned to Rushford where Frances was employed as the Secretary to the Superintendent of the Rushford Central School.

After retiring with 22 years from the NY State School System she served as Library Director for the Rushford Free Library for 8 more years.   She was an active member of the Rushford Methodist Church serving as a Sunday school teacher, Junior Choir leader, and member of the adult choir, Church Council, and United Methodist Women’s Group member.  For years, she organized and conducted weekly community coffee hours in the church as well as regular church and community dinners.  She was a member and officer of the Cynthian Club, recording secretary of the Allegany County Federation of Women’s Clubs, Secretary of the Allegany County School Secretaries Association, Secretary of the Rushford Scholarship Association, member of the Rushford Senior Citizens’ Group, and Secretary of the Rushford Labor Day Corporation.  As co-chairs for the Rushford Labor Day Parade during the early 60s, Fran and Reed recruited some seven drum & bugle corps, 5 bands and dozens of floats to participate in the annual parade.

Surviving are her children, Robert (Karen) Gilbert of Glenwood, Gary (Trinka Coster) Gilbert of Potomac, MD; Daniel (Lila) Gilbert of Cape Canaveral, FL; William (Cindy) Gilbert of Fort Collins, CO; and Laurie Alden of Rochester, 10 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband and parents she was predeceased by a brother James, a sister Elizabeth, a son Jeffrey, and great grandson Mekhi.

Family and friends may gather from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at the Kopler-Williams Funeral Home, 21 N Genesee Street, Fillmore and from 10:00 am to 11:00 am on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at the Balcom Beach Bible Church, formerly the Rushford United Methodist Church where a funeral service will follow at 11:00 am. Robert Schooley, Pastor of the Centerville United Methodist Church where Fran first worshipped as a child and once again in later life, and Rev. Tracy Holland, pastor of the Balcom Beach Bible Church, will co-officiate. Burial will be in Rushford Cemetery, Rushford.

Memorials if desired to: Rushford Free Library or Rushford Cemetery, c/o Gene Austin.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Frances "Fran" Arlene (Owens) Gilbert, please visit our floral store.


November 9, 2021

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Kopler - Williams Funeral Home
21 North Genesee Street
Fillmore, NY 14735

November 10, 2021

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Rushford United Methodist Church

Rushford, NY

Funeral Service
November 10, 2021

11:00 AM
Rushford United Methodist Church

Rushford, NY

© 2021 Kopler - Williams Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy