James H. Gibert passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 91 on February 5th, 2018. He was born in New Orleans on February 10, 1926. He was a lifelong resident of the City. He is survived by his wife of 60 years Jean Eve Mirandona Gibert. He is also survived by his daughter Jean Gibert “Tina” McLellan, married to John R. “Jay” McLellan and his son James H. Gibert, Jr. married to Katherine McCloskey “Katie” Gibert. In addition, he is survived by four cherished grandchildren, Charlotte Eugenie Gibert McLellan, Sarah Marie Favrot McLellan, James H. Gibert lll and Lindsey L. Gibert all of whom he treasured.
Mr. Gibert was known to his friends as Jimmy. He was a graduate of Tulane University where he served as President of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He also served as President of the Tulane University Panhellenic Council. Jimmy served in the Tulane University Naval ROTC. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant JG in the United States Navy in 1944 and immediately shipped out to Miami, Florida to be trained for command of a destroyer escort vessel. Upon completion of his training he boarded a train for his next post at the U.S. Navy Advance Base Personnel Depot in San Bruno, California at which time he boarded a troop ship bound for Pearl Harbor. From Pearl Harbor he boarded another vessel for transport to operations in preparation for the invasion of Japan. The Japanese surrender occurred while in route and Jimmy was then assigned to his post, Port Director, Nagasaki Japan.
Jimmy graduated from Tulane with a Bachelor of Naval Sciences Degree in 1945. After the war, he earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1948 and began a long career as an architect in New Orleans. During that career Jimmy received various awards among them Vieux Carre Courier Golden Girder Award for Le Pavillon Hotel for which he was also received the Central Business District Award. His principal commercial works were the IBM Building, Le Pavillon Hotel, L.B. Landry High School and the Fischer Elementary School. For the Isadore Newman School, Jimmy designed and supervised the construction of the Newman School Science Center Building, the School Gymnasium (now known as the Touhy Gym) and the Henson Auditorium. Jimmy also designed and supervised the construction of many of the stores in the iconic New Orleans drugstore chain Katz & Besthoff. His career also included the design of numerous family residences and many residential renovation projects. He was admired and respected in the architectural trades and contracting community and will be remembered by many for giving them a chance when they were first starting out.
Jimmy was extremely fond of the arts and could often be seen attending the openings shows of many local artists at New Orleans galleries. He served as a Director on the Board of the New Orleans Museum of Art and also served as a Trustee. He was especially proud to be a founding Director of the Board of the Orleans Gallery of New Orleans and an Honorary Life Member and was a friend to many world renowned local artists. He was also quite fond of antique furniture and art and was a fixture of the local gallery and auction scene for decades.
He was past President of the France Amerique de la Louisiane Society. He served as Vice President of the City Park Board of Commissioners. He was a Director of the Louisiana Architects Association. In addition, he served as President of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Mental Health Association. Jimmy served many fond years on the Board of the Louise S. McGehee School.
Jimmy was joy to be around and will be greatly missed by his wide circle of friends, young and old, for his quick wit and kind heart. He will be remembered by his wife, children and grandchildren for his gentle sense of humor and unflinching devotion to his family who in turn adored him. Jimmy was buried in a private graveside service in New Orleans on February 8th, 2018. JACOB SCHOEN & SON in charge of arrangements.