Funeral Details

Jean "Ginny" Gilbert

April 4, 1927 - May 14, 2024


Date and Time

Friday, May 17, 2024 at 12 Noon


Waldheim Jewish Cemetery
1700 S. Harlem Avenue
Forest Park, Illinois 60130
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Rabbi Carmit Harari
Shir Tikvah

Memorial Contributions

Shir Tikvah
1424 183rd Street
Homewood, Illinois 60430


Jean “Ginny” Gilbert age 97. Beloved wife of the late Rubin Gilbert. Loving mother of Jackie Gilbert and Jim (Pat) Gilbert. Proud grandmother of Dawn Gilbert. Dear sister of Sarah Schwartz and the late Max Serlin.

In early spring of 1928, Leah and Moishe Serlin arrived in Canada with their one-year old daughter Jean (Ginny, as those closest to her call her). They came as farmers to Hirsch in Saskatchewan. Only those members of their family that came with them survived the Holocaust. Ginny's family lived through the dust bowl years, a time of severe hardship. Despite this, Leah and Moishe made sure Ginny and her siblings had a tutor to teach them Yiddish reading and writing and Hebrew.
At 15, Ginny went to the big city of Winnipeg to live with an aunt and uncle so she could attend Yiddish school and business college. At 16, during World War Il, Ginny applied to work for the Royal Canadian Air Force. After the war, Ginny worked for JIAS, helping expedite the arrival in Canada of Jewish immigrants, many of whom were Holocaust survivors.
Ginny was a member of B'nai Brith Young Women and, at a conference in Chicago, met her future husband, Ruby, a veteran. They married in 1948 and she moved to Chicago and then to Park Forest - where she and Ruby were original members of the Conservative congregation - South Suburban Synagogue, the predecessor to Congregation Am Echad. In those early years, she was very active in the congregation and Sisterhood.
In the interim, Ginny and Ruby started their family. When the kids started school, Ginny went back to work, where she embarked on a career of "firsts." She became the first woman limo driver hired to drive to O'Hare from the South Suburbs; she sold electronics to television stations so successfully that WMAQ-TV (NBC Channel 5) convinced her to study and get a radio/telephone license. Not only did she excel, she passed the licensing exam on the first try - something few achieve. Ginny was hired by NBC to help them achieve "equal opportunity" and assigned to the video tape department - one of the elite. The timing was perfect, as she was there for the start of a new era in television news - video tape. She was sent to the room with the two machines and was instructed to "make it work." No manuals, no instructions, no guidance. And she did! Shortly thereafter, video tape became the only medium used by the station and Ginny's work resulted in her winning a Chicago Emmy, an Illinois Associated Press Broadcasting Award, a Chicago International Film Festival Certificate of Merit, and an award from the Headliner Club in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Not only that, she had the opportunity to work at presidential nominating conventions and major sports
After over 20 years at NBC, Ginny retired to take care of her husband, who was suffering from heart problems. After Ruby passed in 1993, Ginny became very active again in the synagogue and sisterhood. Ginny has worn many hats, including president and treasurer of the Sisterhood and vice president of the congregation.
She had been a devoted member of Congregation Am Echad, subsequently Shir Tikvah, working tirelessly to keep this bastion of Judaism alive and available for the next generation.
Ginny had been a long time contributor to Jewish United Fund. She recognized the vital work of the JUF.

Graveside service Friday 12PM at Jewish Waldheim, 1700 S. Harlem Avenue, Forest Park, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Shir Tikvah, 1424 183rd Street, Homewood, IL 60430, To attend the funeral live stream, please visit our website.
Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822,



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Such an exquisite, gracious, and accomplished Lady. May her memory be as a blessing.

Rhonda Sibille
May 14, 2024
You were such a wonderful strong woman. You & Jackie could be twins looking at the beautiful picture. You raised a very intelligent, beautiful. Strong daughter. May You rest in peace and know you are loved by many & respected by many.
So much more that I could say but just know I am proud to have known you for so many years.

Sandy Garcia
May 14, 2024
Jean was such a sweet lady. I had the honor of taking her to several appointments when she was visiting Jackie in Las Vegas. She would inspire me, make me laugh, and share some wonderful stories.
She shall be missed, but never forgotten. Rest peacefully Dear.

Tish Amador
May 14, 2024
Ginny was our wonderful neighbor for so many decades in Park Forest. She was such an incredibly intelligent, talented and trailblazing woman. But she was also kind, humble and fun to be with. Our memories of her and Ruby will continue on.

Our deepest condolences to Jackie, James, Pat and Dawn.

Susan Minster Raad
May 14, 2024
Dear Cousins Jackie, James, Pat, and Dawn. Profound condolences on the passing of your mother, mother-in-law and grandmother, my great-aunt, Ginny. She was a woman of great intelligence, tenacity, and accomplishments. I knew of several of her distinctions, but, through the thoughtful obituary you wrote, I have learned of yet more. I admired her forthrightness, work ethic, and community involvement. May her memory be for a blessing.

Michael Schwartz
May 14, 2024
Dear Jackie & Pat and family,
We are very sorry for your loss, but celebrate the wonderful rich life you have been blessed to share with your mother all these years! How life has smiled on your family to share her love and presence for so many years is truly amazing!
Wishing you all grace and peace as you transition to her loss.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Deepest condolences,
Howard & Siobhan

Howard & Siobhan Kim
May 15, 2024
Ginny was my grandparents’, Paul and Betty Minster, long time neighbor in Park Forest. We loved seeing her and Ruby after school growing up along with Alice who lived on the other side - often for Paul and Betty’s famous cocktail hour on the driveway! We just recently lost Betty, so it was nice to be able to see Ginny in April when we were back home and for her to meet Liliane, Betty’s 7th great-grandchild. Sending our deepest condolences to the family and her friends and our warmest regards to everyone at Congregation Am Echad.

Adrienne Minster
May 15, 2024