Danni Gilbert

Friday, October 12, 2012

Danielle Marie Cote Gilbert, of Mountain Home, Idaho, lost her two-year battle with colon cancer on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, at the age of 39.

She was a beloved wife, mother, sister and daughter.

Danni was born to Tom W. and Bella R. Cote in Great Falls, Mont., on March 24, 1973. She attended Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Great Falls through the eighth grade and graduated from Great Falls High School (GFH) in 1991. She was always proud of being a GFH Bison.

After high school, Danni attended Linfield College in Oregon on a softball scholarship. After one semester, she transferred to Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman, Mont., to be near her high school sweetheart, James Gary Gilbert. In 1995, she graduated from MSU with a degree in history.

After college, Danni moved to Boulder, Colo., and worked in public relations for MicroHouse. On June 15, 1996, she and James were married. They lived in Boulder for one year, spending time with Danni's older brother and his wife.

Then Danni followed James to Idaho as he pursued his teaching career. They lived in Boise for a short time while Danni was a teacher's assistant at Taft Elementary and concurrently attained her teaching degree at Boise State University. She later earned her Master's in Teaching, also from Boise State.

In 1998, Danni was hired by the Mountain Home School District as a teacher at Mountain Home High School (MHHS).

For 14 years, Danni was a beloved teacher and staff member. She taught American Government, Psychology, Sociology, and was head of the Social Studies Department. She coached volleyball, softball and also junior high cross country. A highlight of her time at MHHS was taking students to the Anne Frank Memorial in Boise.

Determined to help others achieve, Danni was active in several programs in Mountain Home and beyond. She initiated the Student Recognition Program at MHHS and helped establish dual-credit concurrent classes for students.

Danni taught not only in the classroom, but also online for IDLA, the Idaho Digital Learning Academy, from 2005 on.

Her desire to help others led her to promote civic awareness projects in the community and to stay involved with the Idaho Human Rights Commission.

In addition to her loving husband and her parents, Danni is survived by her daughters, Julia K. Gilbert, 8, and Anna P. Gilbert, 5. She is also survived by six siblings and their spouses: brother Gerard R. Cote and sister-in-law Marcey J. Cote of Boulder, Colo.; sister Colette P. Brown and brother-in-law Jason L. Brown of Great Falls, Mont.; brother Phillip W. Cote and sister-in-law Nancy J. Cote of Omaha, Neb.; sister Gabrielle E. Cote of Helena, Mont.; sister Joelle A. Cote of Great Falls, Mont.; and sister Rochelle L. Cote, of Missoula, Mont. She is also survived by three nieces and nephews: Isabelle J. Brown of Great Falls, Mont.; Anders A. Cote and Marcus S. Cote of Boulder, Colo.; her in-laws. Reid M. and Karen K. Miller of Great Falls, Mont.; and eight uncles, nine aunts and 35 cousins.

Danni was devoted to and loved deeply by her family. She enjoyed spending time with them, as well as reading, cooking, The Smith River and The Lake.

Her persistence, inner strength and sharp wit impressed all who interacted with her. She will forever be admired for the incredible courage and amazing strength she maintained during her fight.

A memorial service for Danni will be held at 1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Lloyd Schiller Gymnasium at Mountain Home High School. A reception will follow at Legacy Park.

In lieu of gifts, contributions can be made to a scholarship fund for Danni's girls at the Capital Educator's Credit Union, P.O. Box 570, Meridian, ID 83680, or the Idaho Human Rights Commission, 317 W. Main St., Boise, ID 83735.