Dr. Michael V. Gilberti (nee
Giliberti), Sr., quietly passed away
at High Point Regional Hospital in
High Point, NC, on Monday,
February 25th. "Papa" was a
humble man who loved his family
more than anything in life. Papa
was born in Jacurso, Italy on May
13, 1918, and after immigration to
America through Ellis Island at the
age of eight, his family landed
outside Pittsburgh, PA. As a child,
Papa had a passion for football -
and as a standout quarterback for
Aliquippa High School, he earned
a scholarship to play for The
University of Notre Dame.
Unfortunately, a life-threatening
lung infection following his senior
year quashed his football dream
and he decided that medicine was
his calling. He attended the
University of Pittsburgh followed
by Loyola University Chicago
School of Medicine. He later
earned a Master's in Medical
Science for graduate work in
surgery at the University of
Pennsylvania. While serving in the
U.S. Army at a Veterans Hospital in
Butler, PA, Papa met the love of
his life, "Gracie," who was the
daughter of the hospital
administrator. On April 24, 1948,
he married his beloved wife,
Grace Anne Chase, who preceded
him in death on October 29, 2012.
Papa was a skillful and successful
General Surgeon in Pittsburgh, PA,
serving on the senior surgical staff
at West Penn Hospital for many
years. He worked simultaneously
as Associate Medical Director and
Director of Clinical Services for
Gulf Oil Corporation, Medical
Director for the Correctional
Institutions of Pennsylvania, and
Employee Health Director at West
Penn Hospital. He finally retired
from his passion of medicine at
the age of 73, missing it every day
thereafter. He and Gracie wintered
in Ft. Myers, Florida, where he
discovered that he could play golf
more months of the year, a game
he loved and played until the age
of 97! Bridge became his daily
pastime, and he studied it and
played until weeks before his
death. Papa had notable
experiences as a resident and
surgeon, assisting Dr. Jonas Salk
on the polio vaccine, and assisting
in the first adult bone marrow
transplant in the country on a
patient with extreme radiation
exposure. While doing a stint as a
Hollywood film set physician, he
had many brushes with fame
such as treating Bob Hope for an
injury. Over the course of his
hundred years, he made
countless friends that included
4-star Generals, Cardinals,
Bishops, and Nobel Prize winners,
and yet he remained a humble
man. Papa was also preceded in
death by his parents, Francesco
and Immaculata (Sergio) Gilberti,
originally of Jacurso, Italy; and all of
his three brothers and their wives:
Giacomo (Jack) and Ruthie Gilberti,
Franco (Frank) and Yvonne
Gilberti, and Mario (Babe) and Kate
Gilberti; he is survived by his six
children, Michael V. Gilberti, Jr.
(and Paige) of Basking Ridge, NJ,
Lawrence F. Gilberti (and Ellen
Tobie) of Philadelphia, PA, Nancy
C. Gilberti (and Lascelle
Mussenden) of Folsom, CA, Laura
Gilberti Rine of Jamestown, NC, Dr.
Lynne M. Gilberti of Greensboro,
NC, and Gary J. Gilberti (and Susan)
of Wilmington, NC; and by eight
beloved grandchildren: Francesca,
Lauren, Mickey, Andrew, Christian,
Kyle, Tory, and Erin; and three
great-grandchildren, Kathryn,
Rowan, and Blaine, who called
him Papa. A Mass of Christian
Burial will be held on Friday,
March 29, 2019, at 2:00 p.m., at
Pennybyrn at Maryfield Chapel
located at 1315 Greensboro Road,
High Point, NC, to be officiated by
Father James Solari, with a
reception to follow. In lieu of
flowers, please consider a
donation to The Pennybyrn at
Maryfield Resident Care Fund, 109
Penny Road, High Point, NC
assisting the Gilberti family.
Online condolences may be
made at
Send condolences post-gazette.com/gb
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PostedMarch 24, 2019