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Artist-Architect Eugene Gilbert Is Dead at 93

February 25, 1986|GORDON GRANT | Times Staff Writer

Eugene Gilbert, artist, architect and real estate entrepreneur, has died at his home in Laguna Hills at the age of 93, his family announced Monday.

He was probably best known for his books of pencil sketches, the first of which was published in France during World War I while he was a combat infantryman who saw action in five major engagements, including the second battle of the Marne and the Meuse-Argonne offensive.

That book, "The 28th Division in France," sold 15,000 copies while he was still overseas, including one copy that went to Gen. John J. Pershing.

After the first war, Gilbert graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and went to work for a Philadelphia architect. Within a few years, he had been responsible for the overall designs of the Duke University campus and buildings in North Carolina, the Philadelphia Library, the Ben Franklin Hotel and numerous other projects.

In the early 1930s he moved back to California--he was born in San Francisco in 1893--and went into real estate in the Westwood and Bel-Air areas of Los Angeles.

Gilbert and his wife of 66 years, Margaret, moved to Leisure World in Laguna Hills in 1972. While there, he completed several more books of pencil sketches, including a historical record of Orange County.

He died Thursday, and memorial services have already been held.

He is survived by his wife; two sons, Eugene B. Gilbert of Sacramento and Don D. Gilbert of Eugene, Ore., and nine grandchildren.

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