Gilbert Funeral Home has been serving the needs of the Algonac-Clay Twp. area since 1904.
The funeral home began as a furniture store ran by Roy T. Gilbert. The natural progression of furniture making lead into the making of caskets, which thus lead into the early years of funeral service. Roy T. was a very community minded person. He wore many hats besides that of being a funeral director. He served as Algonac Village Clerk, Algonac Village Assessor, Clay Twp. Justice of Peace, Clay Twp. Clerk, Clay Twp. Supervisor, Algonac School Board member, and State of Michigan Legislature, over the years.
He was joined in the operation of the furniture store and funeral business by his son, known by many as Shirley, Judson S. Gilbert at a very young age. He was noted by Ripley’s Believe It or Not as the youngest funeral director. (Roy T. who was in the legislature at the time was unable to return to Algonac because of a heavy snow. It is said Judson S. conducted the funeral and drove the hearse, with the procession to the cemetery at the age of 14.) During WWII Jud, served with the U.S. Navy. After his return from the war, he rejoined his father in the businesses. He also served the community as a member of Algonac School Board and Algonac City Council member for many years. Jud was also a Charter & Life Member of the Algonac Lions Club.
The third generation started with Judson’s two sons Judson II and John R., joining the daily operations with their father. In the mid-1960’s with urban renewal, the funeral home was moved to its present location at 1422 Michigan St. The furniture store did not fare as well, however, and was closed. Judson II, besides running the funeral home with his father and brother, went on to serve in the Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Senate, having term-limited out of both houses. The daily operations, with the great support of his brother Judson II, was turned over to John R. John has continued serving the public with the same traditions and caring attitude of his grandfather, father, and brother. In 1980 John R. was joined by funeral director, Thomas G. Durkee, who is still with the firm, aiding John with the funeral homes operations.