Dr. James H. Gilbertson, of Minneapolis, died suddenly on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 as the result of an auto accident. He was 79 years old.

Born in Northeast Minneapolis in 1941 and raised in Spring Lake Park, he attended SLP High School where he excelled in academics and basketball and met his future wife, MaryLou Patten. He went on to attend the University of Minnesota where he majored in psychology and played four years on the Gopher men’s basketball team.

After obtaining his Ph.D., he opened his private practice to which he dedicated his life. His love of psychology and the legal field drove him every day. 

He was a renowned forensic psychologist practicing throughout Minnesota and the upper Midwest. He was passionate about his profession and worked tirelessly until the evening of his death. 

In his lifetime he worked with thousands of talented doctors, judges, attorneys, court administrators and mental health professionals. Thank you to all of you who were such an integral part of his professional life.

In his free time, he enjoyed distance running, walking with his beloved dogs Skye, Nigel and Fiona; watching the Vikings, listening to the music of the 1950s and sitting on the deck overlooking the lake.

He leaves our family with joyful memories of Vikings and Alsatian sauerkraut parties, “clapping for the meat” during barbeques at the lodge, his self-styled trivia games and coin lotto during Christmas, vacations in Germany with family and friends and so many more.

He was preceded in death by father, Harlan; mother, Loraine; sister, Patricia; and brother, Tom.  

He is survived by wife and business partner of 59 years, MaryLou; children; Dr. Harlan (Lisa) Gilbertson; Tara (Don) Hershey; sisters; Susan Gilbertson and Laurel (Alan) Siefert; grandchildren, Angela (Jesse) Doughty, Tara (Chris Peterson) Radermacher; Nolan (Kelsey Graves) Gilbertson, Berit Serle, Asher Serle; great-grandchildren; Natalie, Victoria, Lily, Levi, Chase, Piper, Sebastian, London and Vaeda; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Due to COVID, a celebration of life gathering will be planned for autumn 2021.    

Memorials to Animal Allies Humane Society in Duluth, Minnesota or your local food shelf are appreciated.


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