In loving memory of

Joseph A Gibilisco
February 6, 1924 - July 7, 2022

Joseph Gibilisco, 98, of Rochester passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 7 with family by his side.
Joseph was born February 6, 1924 in Omaha, Nebraska, one of seven children in a large and loving Italian family. He graduated from Omaha's Tech high school in 1940.
Joe began his college career at Creighton University in Omaha. In 1942 he was selected for the Army Specialized Training Program and pursued his medical training at Yale University. He went on to earn Doctor of Dental Surgery and Master of Science in Dentistry degrees at his beloved University of Minnesota.
While studying at the U of M Joe met his future wife, Josephine, who was completing her Master's degree in Industrial Relations. They were married on August 7, 1951 in Minneapolis.
Dr. Gibilisco worked as an Associate Professor in the medical and dental programs at Creighton University and the University of Alabama. In 1954, he completed his military service as a captain in the US Air Force in the School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX.
Joe and Jo moved to Rochester in 1956 when Dr. Gibilisco joined the Department of Dentistry at the Mayo Clinic, which he chaired from 1962-1976. Joe served as a Professor of Dentistry at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Medical School. After retirement, he was instrumental in the founding of the Salvation Army Good Samaritan Dental Clinic, where he remained involved as a board member and consultant.
In addition to his clinical, research, and teaching work, Joe was an active member of many civic and community organizations, including the Southeastern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Greater Rochester Area University Center, and U of M Rochester Regents Advisory Board. He maintained his lifelong connection to the University of Minnesota through his support of the Alumni Association and as an avid Gophers fan and booster. Joe was an active and dedicated member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, serving for many years on a variety of church committees.
Joe was the proud and loving father of three and grandfather of three. He valued time with family and friends, especially when they could be together sharing a meal, spending time at the cabin, or cheering on the Gophers or the Twins. He loved to engage those around him with his warmth and sense of humor. He was always ready with a story and eager to find connections with everyone he met.
Joe is survived by two children, Marilyn (Rex) Boutelle of St. Paul and Carol (Darrel) VanderZee of Onalaska, Wis., three grandchildren, Tony Boutelle, Tim Boutelle and Samuel VanderZee. He is preceded in death by his wife, Josephine, son Stanley and six siblings.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 on Saturday, July 30 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Rochester, 1884 22nd St. N.W. Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service at the church.
Memorials can be directed to St. Luke's Episcopal Church Growth Fund or Good Samaritan Dental Clinic, 120 N. Broadway, Rochester, MN 55906.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the dedicated staff of Charter House for their care and compassion. Ranfranz and Vine is honored to be serving the Gibilisco family; to leave a condolence or special memory please visit


Scott Fehrenkamp wrote on Jul 25, 2022:

"I lost a great friend and mentor with the passing of Dr. Gib. He was one of those rare people that leaves a huge and positive impact on others. The value of his counsel was immeasurable. Amigo #1, you are sorely missed. Scott Fehrenkamp (Amigo #3)"

H. Bryan Neel, MD, PhD wrote on Jul 19, 2022:

" I was deeply saddened by the news of Joe's death. He was a great friend and colleague and was a wise adviser to me during my tenure on the U of Minnesota Board of Regents. Few have given such enormous support to the U in so many ways. Often I think of the joy of being with Joe and Jo. Heartfelt condolences to all the family members. H. Bryan* Neel, MD, PHD "

Alison Good wrote on Jul 16, 2022:

"Joe was a vital member of the GRAUC Board, served a term as president, and was an inspiring and thoughtful mentor to many of us. Allie Good"

Don Supalla wrote on Jul 13, 2022:

"Joe's Family: It was and honor and pleasure to have known Joe, especially through his leadership and service to GRAUC (Greater Rochester Advocates for Universities and Colleges) and later with his efforts to establish the Good Samaritan Dental Clinic. Joe took charge in a quiet, competent and caring manner...always the professional and a true gentleman. He was able to find compromise, calm troubled waters and make things happen. In thoughts, prayers and sympathy."

Betsy Wahlgren wrote on Jul 13, 2022:

"Dear Marilyn and Carol, I was sad to hear that your father died. I think it is especially sad when the last parent dies. I know it was for me. It just makes life different somehow. I didn't know your dad very well but he was always very nice to me. I still remember that from back in the day when I was a kid. RIP Dr. Gibilisco... Betsy Wahlgren (Whisnant)"

Joe Powers wrote on Jul 13, 2022:

"Joe will be missed by many, I am blessed to have known him for so many years, what a wonderful, kind and generous human being. My prayers to your family. God Bless Joe Powers"

Tom Gaffey wrote on Jul 11, 2022:

"I remember Joe for his honesty and humility. His Emeritus group, the POETS, would endorse a famous Greek tribute which states that his story is not graven on stone alone, but is woven into the lives of others whom he encountered. R. I.P. Dr. Gibilesco"