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Gilbert Short

Gilbert "Sonny" Short

Saturday, March 12th, 1938 - Saturday, May 16th, 2020
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Obituary

On Saturday, May 16, 2020, Gilbert “Sonny” Short, loving father of five, died at his home in Moline, at age 82. A celebration of life will be held on January 30, 2021 at Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in the Starlite Ballroom, Davenport, IA, from 2 pm - 6 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed in Gilbert’s name to Rescued of Moline, an organization offering financial assistance for veterinary care to animal shelters and families.  Or to Speedway Fire and Rescue (PO Box 377, Davenport, IA 52808). Gilbert Virgil Short, son of Gale Gilbert and Alzora (Hoskins) Short, was born on March 12, 1938 in Moline, Illinois. He grew up on the family’s farm in Rock Island County and later in Mercer County, where he attended and was graduated from Joy High School in 1956. After graduation, Gilbert joined the U.S. Navy, and later farmed near Joy, Illinois, worked as a welder, and as a sand and gravel truck driver in California. In 1968 Gilbert founded A-1 Fire Equipment in Moline, Illinois, and later moved his business to Davenport, Iowa. He went on to run and grow his company for the next 36 years, until his retirement from the fire protection equipment business in 2004. During this time, Gilbert also founded Speedway Fire and Rescue, an organization he was truly proud of, born of his knowledge of fire protection and safety and his passion for stock car racing. For over 50 years, he worked to expand the organization, from a single red Ford F-150, with a black lab/shepherd named Zeke, and a few fire extinguishers working a single racetrack two nights a week, to an organization with dozens of professionally trained members working several racetracks around the region nearly every night of the week. He was also, for many years, an active member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, as a Flotilla Commander along the Mississippi and Rock Rivers. Gilbert possessed an engaging and sociable personality, that naturally set people at ease. He was a modest and good man, whose generosity and kindness touched many people through the years. He will be greatly missed, but not forgotten. Gilbert is survived by; three children, Gilbert Wayne (Lisa), Deborah Short-Rico, and Curtis (Terumi); his longtime companion Kathy Gile and her children Kari (Kris) Maltby, Misty (Aaron) Ganzer, and Joe; his sister Sandra Downing; and his grandchildren Kristy, Andrea, Kevin, Ramon, Gilberto, Vicente, Kelsey, Jessica, Aozora, and Asahi James. He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Kathryn; his son, James; and his brother, William.

We are looking forward to celebrating the life of Gilbert "Sonny" Short with our family and friends on Saturday, January 30th at the Starlite Ballroom.

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Service Details

  • Celebrate the Life of Gilbert "Sonny" Short

    Saturday, January 30th, 2021 | 2:00pm
    When
    Saturday, January 30th, 2021 2:00pm
    Location
    Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds - Starlite Ballroom
    Address
    2815 W. Locust Street
    Davenport, IA 52804
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    Family and Friends are invited to celebrate the life of Gilbert "Sonny" Short from 2 pm - 6 pm. We look forward to seeing you.
  • Reception

    Saturday, January 30th, 2021 | 2:00pm - 6:00pm
    When
    Saturday, January 30th, 2021 2:00pm - 6:00pm
    Location
    Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, Starlite Ballroom
    Address
    2815 W. Locust Street
    Davenport, IA 52804
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    Family and Friends are invited to join us in celebrating the life of Gilbert "Sonny" Short at the Starlite Ballroom, Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, Davenport, IA, from 2 pm - 6 pm. We look forward to seeing everyone.

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EA

ERIC ALFON

Posted at 12:00am
You’ll be so missed Gil. Deepest condolences to family.
RG

Rosa Gottschalk

Posted at 12:00am
So sorry for your loss & just remember that you never say goodbye you say see you later as we will see him again someday.
WS

Wm.Ted Short

Posted at 12:00am
I always knew Sonny to be an upstanding and good man and have been proud to be his cousin! All my condolences to the family !
AB

Allen Noftsker (Navy buddy)

Posted at 12:00am
Gilbert and I joined the Navy on the Buddy System. We have been friends for many years. My sympathy to the family
LS

Larry Stone

Posted at 12:00am
Gil worked with us at General Sand & Gravel until he left to start his fire extinguisher business. He was a good mechanic and welder and an excellent co-worker. We hated to lose him but we became a customer and saw him frequently. Condolences to his family.
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