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Obituary: Terry Gilbertson

Terry Gilbertson, Building Official, Inland Wetlands Enforcement Officer, and Zoning Enforcement Officer in the Town of Woodbridge since 1998 died October 28, 2019, at the age of 68 from complications of pneumonia.  Prior to his appointment in Woodbridge, Terry performed various duties in the City of New Haven’s Office of Building Inspection and Enforcement, including Deputy Building Official.

Terry was a generous and hard-working man who enjoyed the collaboration and friendship of his co-workers and the camaraderie of the design professionals and contractors with whom he shared mutual respect.  His powers of observation and attention to detail fueled an incisive sense of humor in addition to enhancing his performance and involvement in code administration.  One could track the change of seasons by Terry’s transition from his distinctive Stetson to his Panama Hat and back again.

In addition to his licensure as a Building Official, Gilbertson earned certification as a Fire Marshal/Inspector, and in the process was awarded the “Major Carroll E. Shaw Award for Academic Excellence” in 1999 from the State of Connecticut Office of the State Fire Marshal.

In 2016, Terry was nominated by Senator Martin Looney to serve on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Port Authority.  Contemporaneously, he became a Principal Technical Committee Member of NFPA (National Fire Protection Administration) 307 Standard for the Construction and Fire Protection of Marine Terminals.  Terry was a member of International Code Council, the New England Building Code Association, the Connecticut Building Officials Association (CBOA), and a Lifetime Member of NFPA.

Born in Fargo, North Dakota to the late Joan Gilbertson (Rissman) and the late Bernard Gilbertson on May 31 1951, Terry grew up in Litchfield, Minnesota.  He worked in lighting design in New York City in productions that first brought him to New Haven in 1973 where he returned to make his home until his passing.

Terry was predeceased by his brother John Gilbertson (Florida) and is survived by his brother James Gilbertson of Litchfield, Minnesota and by his life partner of 33 years Marjorie Shansky of New Haven with whom he shared the love of their Springer Spaniels.  Visiting hours were at the Celentano Funeral Home, 424 Elm Street, New Haven, CT with burial at the Grove Street Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center, www.splcenter.org, to support its mission to fight hate and bigotry and to seek justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.

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