Edwyna Gilbert

Edwyna Gilbert, 74, Lawrence, died April 27, 2011 at her home.  According to her wishes, private services are planned. Inurnment will be in Pioneer Cemetery on the KU campus.

Mrs. Gilbert was born August 19, 1936, in Maryville, MO, to Edward Vaughn Condon and Edwyna Michau Forsyth Condon. She moved to Lawrence in 1961 from Kansas City, Missouri.

Mrs. Gilbert was an associate professor emerita in the English department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Kansas University. She taught at KU from 1965 until her retirement in 1993. She also served as an Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She received her bachelor’s degree (1958) and her master’s (1960) from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She received her doctorate from the University of Kansas in 1965.

Mrs. Gilbert was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, Chapter EA of the P.E.O Sisterhood, and the University of Kansas Women’s Hall of Fame. She was president of Friends in Council, the KU Friends of the Library, of which she was a lifetime member, and the KU Retirees’ Club (now known as the Endacott Society), and the Hall Center of the Humanities Friends Council. She received the Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award in 2005. She was a finalist for the H.O.P.E. award, won the H. Bernerd Fink Teaching Award, directed the 1990 Kansas Regents Honors Academy, and founded the CLAS Alumni Club. She was a Life member of the Chancellors Club at KU. She and her late husband, William, were Danforth Associates, Mortar Board Outstanding Educators, and honorary members of the Senior Class in 1986. Mr. Gilbert died in 1992.

She is survived by her sister-in-law, three nieces, and one great niece.

7 Condolences

  1. Edwina Price Eisert on May 1, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I am so saddened to hear of Edwyna’s passing. It’s as if a spark of energy has been taken from us all. Edwyna was very close to my parents for many years, and it was a real treat to visit them when she was there. I’ll never forget the night we had a fireside reading of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Edwyna made everything so very special.

  2. Judith Anderson Glass on May 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Edwyna was my sorority sister and good friend. When my husband and I were living in London, Edwyna asked us to go to Berkeley Square and check on the location of the bench she had given in memory of her late husband, Professor William Gilbert. When we told her where the bench was, she asked if we would please move it! We got such a kick out of that. She and Bill had enjoyed many visits to London – and on Bill’s bench, the statement said “In memory of William Gilbert – a man who loved London.”

  3. Billy Steffens on May 2, 2011 at 12:56 am

    I lived at Sprague for four years while I was at KU. Mrs. Gilbert was one of the most friendly and funny people that lived there. My thoughts are with her family and all of the residents of Sprague.

  4. Peggy Sidman on May 4, 2011 at 8:47 am

    My name is Peggy Sidman. Edwyna Gilbert was a close friend of my mom, Margi Sidman. She was so close that we called her Auntedwyna. It was not until I was at least 12 that I knew that her name was “Edwyna” I thought that it was “Wyna” because she was not our blood aunt so we “aunted” her. Believe me my brothers and sisters got a lot of mileage out of ragging me on that (among other things).

    We Sidman klan are large by today’s standards with 5 kids. Aunt Edwyna would always take us to the Disney movies when they first came out. It was a real treat for us kids because taking 5 kids to the movies is not cheap and we seldom went, except when Aunt Edwyna treated us. I remember when the Absent Minded Professor came out, and after the professor blew up the lab and the professor came out of the rumble and said “What happened” my little sister shouted from her seat “You blew it up you dummy”. We were mostly well behaved, but I do not think that Aunt Edwyna told on her (probably another kid did though).

    I also remember Aunt Edwyna at the Holiday Park pool. We 5 kids spent all summer over there from the time it opened in May through September. Aunt Edwyna sat in the smoking section under the tree and drank TAB. We knew that she was there, but mostly we just swam and went off the diving board, Holiday Park Pool had a high board.

    I remember being invited to their home with their golden retrievers. We did not have dogs or any pets at our house, so we had a blast chasing the dogs around the yard and throwing the ball. The other thing that I remember was that they did not make the bed until before they got into the bed. For some reason making the bed before seemed like making the bed for someone else and they just wanted the bed to be nice for when they got into it.

    My Mother and Aunt Edwyna had a thing about calling each other whenever they were in a hotel room that had a phone in the bathroom, from the bathroom phone. I think that they thought that was kind of gross, which I guess that it is.

    Lastly, when I got married in 1993, I received a beautiful gift of wedgewood creamer and sugarer, it was something that Bill and Edwyna had gotten for their wedding. It was the year after Bill had died. I was so touched and to this day, I display these prominently in the front of my Butler’s pantry.

    I read Edwyna’s obit and it showed her many accomplishments, but I will also remember her as the fun aunt that took us to the movies and drank TAB. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  5. Brits on May 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    We are going to miss Edwyna. She has come to our store since we opened in 1995. She rented videos & DVDs from us all the time. We always knew when she was here ’cause we’d all yell “hi” and she always had something fun to say. Didn’t realize she had a bench in London for her husband. Next time we’re in London we’ll be sure to stop by and visit. We’ll miss you, Edwyna. The Staff at Brits

  6. Nancy Marie Wood on May 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    I remember Professor Edwyna Gilbert with great fondness from my student days at KU. I loved her wonderful sense of humor, her warmth, her enthusiasm, and the way she made each student feel welcomed… and valued. I am grateful to her for the role she played in shaping me as a teacher. Edwyna Gilbert was truly one of KU’s brightest lights. May her memory be for a blessing!

  7. Linda on January 24, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    I go to auctions and bid on things with my husband and I found a post card addressed to Mrs. Gilbert from 1977, I am guessing from friends who visited Milan…if anyone would like it, email me at pookeybear18@yahoo

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