GILBERT H. WADE, JR.
SEPTEMBER 10, 1928 – NOVEMBER 4, 2006
Gilbert H. Wade, Jr. completed his earthly journey on November 4, 2006, in Abbeville, Louisiana, after a long illness. A native of New Orleans, he was born to Gilbert and Blanche Wade, Sr., on September 10, 1928.
His first career was in education, having taught in the Tangipahoa School system early in his adult life. He met the former Mamye Coburn – a colleague teacher and gifted musician – while living in Ponchatoula. In 1949, they married. Their union produced four children, Gilbert Wade, III, Kathleen Wade, Elizabeth Edwards, and Bruce Wade, all of whom survive him.
Gilbert’s passion for teaching never left him. Even after answering a call into the ordained ministry of the Church in 1961, Gil saw ministry as a succession of “teaching moments.” Whether the subject matter was Scripture, Church History, or the everyday “stuff of life,” teaching was the essential quality of his ministry.
Gilbert served several churches. The faithful at Olla, Waterproof, First UMC Alexandria, Colfax, Luling, Zachary, Gonzales, Abbeville, and FUMC Baton Rouge all benefited from his ministry as pastor, preacher, and teacher.
His love for opera, classical music, and gardening was expansive. He also had a commitment to the proper use of the English language, which he had taught, and was not shy about correcting the text of any sermon copy he might have seen. Yet, Gilbert was easy to be with, and often served as a “minister to ministers” who sought his counsel.
Mamye’s death in 1990 left a huge and empty space in Gilbert’s life. He soon was forced to take Disability Leave because of illness, not the least of which was Parkinson’s disease, which he endured the last fifteen years of his life.
A celebration of Gilbert’s life and ministry was held in the Abbeville United Methodist Church on November 11, 2006, with this writer as worship leader.
Source: Louisiana Conference Journal, 2007; p. 264.
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