Priscilla Darlyn Gilbreath

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 08:42

Former Eagle River resident Priscilla Darlyn Gilbreath died March 18, 2013 in Ridgecrest, Calif. with her husband at her side. She was 74.

She was born Priscilla Darlyn Klein on June 7, 1938 in Monessen, Penn. to Joseph Edward and Goldie Emaline Klein. She moved to Ridgecrest, Calif. with her family in 1943. Priscilla first attended school at Burroughs on China Lake NWTS. In 1949 the family bought a new Ford pickup and small trailer and headed for Alaska via the Alaska-Canada Highway. Upon arriving in Alaska, her father went to work on the Army base at Fort Richardson until he opened the Eagle Rock Service Station in Eagle River, becoming the first merchant of its kind in the community. While in school, Priscilla worked in her father’s service station and attended a two-room school in Peters Creek until the eighth grade, when she bused along with other Eagle River students to the Anchorage High School now known as West Anchorage High.

Priscilla’s working career included, working for the Air Force, Army, and Corps of Engineers, where she retired in 1994. She also started the Rent-A-Can Portable toilet business in Eagle River with her former husband at the time.

She married Clyde Gilbreath in 1977, putting together her family of four children from previous marriage and Clyde’s family of three children from a previous marriage. They took their new family of seven children as their own. Priscilla and Clyde enjoyed more than 35 loving years together.

Priscilla loved traveling ever since she was a child and traveled to Alaska with her parents on a month long expedition along the newly constructed dirt highway in 1949. Priscilla would travel the ALCAN highway several more times after Clyde’s retirement in 1995. Priscilla and Clyde would fulfill her passion by traveling. They traveled from Alaska in the summer to Yuma, Ariz. in the winter, visiting other states along the way. In 1999 while visiting a sick uncle (Cass Roquemore) in Ridgecrest they found a town that they would enjoy living in. They bought a house in 2000 but, continued to summer in Alaska or at a thousand trails camp grown in La Conner, Wash., where she worked with recreation and housekeeping. She particularly liked teaching kids crafts.

When she finally had to settle down because of health issues, Priscilla and Clyde moved full time into their house in Ridgecrest CA.

She is survived by her husband, Clyde of Ridgecrest, Calif.; her mother, Goldie Klein (age 97), of Anchorage; brother, Dennis Klein, of Anchorage; sister, Reggie Joy and husband, Jay of Anchorage; three daughters, Cindy Navarre and husband Pat, of Wasilla, Christine Gilbreath, of Boise, Idaho, and Syrena Rheault and husband Jim of Eagle River; four sons, Keith White and wife Robin of Anchorage, Kirk White and wife Mandy of Rockingham, N.C., James Gilbreath and wife Anita of Anchorage, and David Gilbreath and wife Patty of Escondido, Calif.; along with 19 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren and counting.

“Priscilla loved God, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday school and being there anytime the doors were open for as long as she could,” her family said. “She now sings in a Heavenly choir.”

Services will be held this summer in Alaska. Condolences may be sent to Syrena Rheault, 12514 Crested Butte Drive, Eagle River, AK 99577.

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