ESCONDIDO — In the second of eight 2021 Escondido Legend biographies, meet Marv and Carilyn Gilbert. The Escondido History Center presents a $1,000 honorarium, in the Gilbert’s name, to an outstanding senior from a high school in Escondido.
Marvin and Carilyn Gilbert were dedicated to serving youth and the community of their adopted city, Escondido.
Marv was born in Topeka, Kansas; Carilyn in San Diego, both in 1940. They graduated from Hoover High School in 1958 and San Diego State University in 1962. Carilyn maintained a 4.0 grade point average in high school and was involved with several on campus organizations.
Marv lettered in three sports (football, basketball and baseball) and was awarded the Lee Diehl Memorial Trophy for Hoover’s most outstanding athlete his senior year. He was president of his high school Key Club and the Hoover Letterman’s club. The couple was also honored as the King and Queen of their senior prom.
Carilyn earned her teaching credential from SDSU and started her career with the San Diego City School District as a first-grade teacher before retiring to raise her family. The family moved to Escondido in 1970 and Carilyn re-entered the teaching profession, teaching first grade at Oak Hill School and kindergarten at Juniper before retiring in 1999. Students, parents and fellow educators admired and adored her. Carilyn received several teaching awards, including the Escondido Chamber of Commerce “Teacher of the Year” award in 1984.
Wishing to continue her service to Escondido, education and students, Carilyn successfully ran and was elected to the Escondido Union School District Board of Education in November of 2000. In 2001, she was selected as San Diego County “Rookie School Board Member” and in 2005 she was honored by the city of Escondido for her accomplishments in education. Carilyn died in September, 2005, and as a testament to the high esteem in which Carilyn Gilbert is held, the Escondido Union School District Administration Center was named in her honor. Additionally, in 2006, Juniper School built a Reading Garden dedicated to her as well as naming the school’s library after her.
Marv earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in business administration with a minor in insurance principles from SDSU. He began his insurance career in 1963 with the Aetna Life and Casualty Insurance Company in San Diego. Since moving the family to Escondido to join the North County Insurance firm, Marv has served Escondido in many different capacities.
He was appointed by the Escondido Union School District Board of Education in the fall of 2005, to fill out Carilyn’s term. Marv entered the election for that seat on the school board in 2006, receiving nearly 78% of the vote. He served on the Board of Education for seven years.
In 2011, Marv was honored by the Escondido Chamber of Commerce as the Business Leader of the Year and in 2017, he was presented with the National Operation School Bell Award by the Assistance League of Inland North County for outstanding contributions to the Operation School Bell Program, which provides new school clothes to needy students in the kindergarten through 12th grades.
Escondido has also benefited from Marv’s service as a board member of the Escondido Charitable Foundation, Palomar Family Counseling Service, and the Escondido History Center’s Endowment Foundation. He is also a past president of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce and of First Night Escondido.
This ongoing level of service to the community has made Marv and Carilyn Gilbert a perfect Escondido Legends choice.