October 25, 1946 – July 31, 2021 Monica Dean Gilbertson, née Batters, recently succumbed to the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease after several years of courageous struggle. Monica leaves behind her son Shawn Harrison, brother Brian “Bucky” Batters and wife Joyce, brother-in-law Lonnie Gilbertson, and countless friends and family. Monica was the first child of World War II Marine Veteran Everett Batters and Dorothy Batters, née Robson. Born and raised in Santa Monica, Monica was affectionately known as both “Monica from Santa Monica” and “Monkey”, a nickname given to her by her father, an avid sports fan with a weakness for the often colorful nicknames from the world of Sports. A graduate of Santa Monica High School, like her parents and many other family members, she attended Santa Monica City College while working part-time. She married for the first time in 1968 and moved to what was then Canoga Park, the fruit of their first marriage being their only child, Shawn. After a divorce in the mid-1970s, she was a devoted single mom who worked as a grocer, a career she devoted over 30 years. In the late 80s, she was introduced to Donnie Gilbertson by her lifelong friend Beverly Jacob. A career marine man, Donnie “Gil” would become the love of her life. They married in 1987 and were inseparable until his untimely death in 2000. When Monica and Donnie did not indulge their beloved Beagles, after his retirement they devoted much of their time to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2805, Canoga Park. There she took on numerous management positions at the Ladies Auxiliary. The jobs she enjoyed most were the philanthropic endeavors. The organization’s Make a Difference Day embodied her selfless nature, which enabled her to touch many lives despite living on a modest pension. In the years following Donnie’s death, she continued her commitment to the post until the combination of a terrible fall and the effects of Parkinson’s disease forced her to join the household while being supported by an incredible team of caregivers (Benita, Lynette, Fiona, Gila & Susan), who with their loving care have certainly contributed to their lives for years. Monica, a devout Lutheran and member of the Shepherd of the Valley, was buried next to Donnie in Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth, where the two were reunited in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Published by Los Angeles Daily News on September 5, 2021.