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November 8, 2017

Britt Rodd Gilbert, 74, of Covington, VA died Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at his residence. He was born July 12, 1943 in Washington, D.C., a son of David and Elinor Rodd Gilbert. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Geoffrey Gilbert and one nephew, Matthew Gilbert. Britt attended St. Albans School and sang as a choir boy for the Washington National Cathedral in his youth, developing his tremendous love of music and a lifelong enthusiasm for classical performances. He attended St. John's College in Annapolis, MD, studying Greek and Latin literature, oratory, mathematics, and the sciences. Britt was drafted into the U.S. Army as a truck driver in May 1966, and in 1967 was transferred to the Army Reserve. He was in the Carpenter's Union and later the Operating Engineers Union and helped maintain the enormous tunnel boring machine that dug the subway tunnels for the Washington, D.C. Metro. Britt also taught algebra in the D.C. public school system for several years, studied graduate chemistry at George Washington University, coached gifted children in science competitions, became a welder, crane operator, auto mechanic, a restorer of old grain mills, and an entrepreneur. He restored Burnshire Dam in Woodstock, Virginia to power-generating condition in 1979, and for the remainder of his life pursued entrepreneurship in hydro and gas power plants around the world. Britt was the son of David Gilbert, a specialist in reproductions of rare artifacts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the grandson of Lt Cdr Herbert C. Rodd, the radio operator on the Curtiss NC-4, the first plane to cross the Atlantic in May 1919. Britt was formerly married to Elaine Evans Gilbert of Woodstock, VA, for twenty years. In addition to Elaine, he is survived by three daughters, Grace Gilbert and her husband Bart Singer of Menlo Park, CA; Maggie Crawford of Winchester, VA, and Amanda Gilbert and her husband Scott Runnels of Alexandria, VA; one son, Evan Gilbert of Woodstock, VA; four grandchildren, Christopher Crawford, Michael Crawford, both of Winchester; Helena Runnels of Alexandria, and Wesley Singer of Menlo Park; two brothers, Mark Gilbert of Maysville, WV, and Chester Gilbert of New York, NY; and three nieces. The service will be held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Woodstock, VA on January 20, 2018 at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the St. John's College Alumni Association in Annapolis, Maryland.
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