CAPE ELIZABETH — Robert L. Gilbertson Jr., 83, died at home with family by his side on Jan. 3 of complications from progressive supranuclear palsy.
He was born on Nov. 11, 1926, in Milwaukee, Wis., the son of Robert L. Gilbertson and Margaret Hunter. He was the oldest of five children.
He attended Senn High School in Chicago. He served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War II. After his tour, he attended Michigan State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
In 1953, he married his wife, Joan, and they had four children.
He was an accomplished media executive, having worked in a variety of media outlets. He started as an advertising solicitor for the Chicago Tribune and then moved into broadcasting. This took him and his family to New York City, Albany and Boston. He was the general manager of a number of major television stations, including WNAC-TV in Boston where he was known for his weekly editorials.
In the mid-1970s, he moved to Cape Elizabeth to serve as the executive director of the broadcast division of Guy Gannett Publishing Company.
He remained active in his retirement, assisting in the management of television stations in Arizona and Florida.
He was active in community affairs. He held top posts with the United Fund and the Crusade of Mercy and participated in numerous telethons raising money for charity.
He was an avid golfer and enjoyed skiing with his family. He also was a member of the Purpoodock Country Club in Cape Elizabeth, where he organized and managed the Twilight League. He was a passionate sports fan and loved the Boston sports teams.
He was predeceased by his brother Peter and his sister, Margery.
He is survived by his wife, Joan, of 53 years; two sons, Robert and Thomas; and two daughters, Greta and Martha; a brother, Hunter; and seven grandchildren.
Memorial services were held earlier this week.
Arrangements are by Hobbs Funeral Home, South Portland.