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In loving memory of
Gilbert Backenstoss Jr.
  • January 03, 1943
  • -
  • July 19, 2021

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Obituary

Gil was born to Gilbert and Helen Backenstoss on 1/3/43 and spent his formative years in New Cumberland,  Pennsylvania. He had one sister, Judy, and together they became the Punch and Judy show, and performed on television and in local venues. Their acrobatics and tumbling were widely known and admired in the area. Gil played sports in high school and even gave up being in the band to play on the football team.

He went to the University of Florida and studied Landscape Architecture.  After graduating he moved to Tallahassee, Florida and worked at the State Road Department.  He held several jobs throughout his career, many dealing with land use and urban planning.

He spent 30 years in Tallahassee and that is saying a lot about a “Florida gator”.  Even with all his professional work, he still managed to own and operate a car stereo store for 20 years.

Gil remarried in 1993 and with his wife, Maureen, moved to Mount Dora in 1997.

They enjoyed many trips together after retirement and activities with friends.

Gil was always an avid environmentalist and he enjoyed his garden and home in Mount Dora.

He is survived by his wife, Maureen, daughter Michele Cook (Wayne)  Charles Register, granddaughter, Madison, sister Judy Miller and many nieces and nephews.


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  1. 24 Jul 2021
    Michele Cross says:
    My 'Sweet Ole Dad'.... oh how I will miss the Christmas and Birthday cards that you signed that way. It's taken me 4 days to attempt relaying my feelings into a thought process that would make ANY sense when I put it into words. During one of the last conversations we had, you told me that I had done an excellent job in raising Madison, my daughter. You have NO idea what your approval meant to me through the years. You were always surprised that your opinion mattered so much to me but it did❤ I hope you left this world knowing I could not have asked for a better Daddy. PERIOD. My promise to you is I will keep striving to make you proud. Every. Single. Day. Loved you then. Love you now. And,will love you until we meet again and BEYOND. Your baby girl, Michele

  2. 23 Jul 2021
    David Deitrich says:
    Gil and I met nearly 60 years ago and have been friends ever since. We were fraternity brothers and room mates at UF. Gil was just Gil, a rock, steady, calm, and always there for me. Geography and circumstances did not allow for us to see each other as much in more recent years, although we were fortunate enough to have summer places in North Carolina close to one another for several years, and we enjoyed our lunches and dinners with Gil and Maureen. We often texted during Gator games, sharing our happiness, and all too often our angst. But whether we were in the same room or town was not important. What was important was just the simple knowledge that Gil was there., and I could reach out and touch him at any time. Now that is gone, and there is a hole in my heart

  3. 23 Jul 2021
    Paul & JoEllen Youngblud lit a candle:
    Lit since July 23, 2021 at 7:16:12 AM

  4. 22 Jul 2021
    Barbara and Scott Smith says:
    Maureen,
    We are so sorry for your loss.
    Barbara and Scott

  5. 22 Jul 2021
    Shawna Hanson says:
    If a girl is fortunate, she will have a good father. It is the rarest of events to have two loving fathers. Gil proved that this is possible when he became my friend Jamie’s stepdad. The comfort of knowing your mom has a good husband is priceless. Gil will always be remembered as the steady, reliable man all of his friends and family were lucky to know.

  6. 22 Jul 2021
    Beth Maroney says:
    Gil will certainly be missed and there is an empty spot in all of our hearts. The neighborhood will not be the same. Gil’s expertise of cooking on the Big Green Egg, knowledge of plants and gardening won’t be forgotten. Conversations about Gator football will be a fond memory. Rest In Peace Gil. We will miss you.
    Beth and Greg

  7. 21 Jul 2021
    Geoffrey Dey says:
    Gil and I became friends in college. He was an easy person to get to know, laid back, accepting, and fun to be around. He was the only person I knew who could identify plants by their scientific name, and we would jokingly quiz him as we walked to class or the local pub. When Sharon and I married, he was part of the wedding party. Though we didn't see each other often, we stayed in touch, and in recent years were welcomed by Gil and Maureen to their NC condo and Mt. Dora home - with a wonderful boat tour of the local lakes! Gil was a steadfast friend, someone you wanted to be with. We will cherish our memories as we grieve.

  8. 21 Jul 2021
    Deborah Hertz lit a candle:
    Lit since July 21, 2021 at 7:37:51 AM

  9. 21 Jul 2021
    Scott McIntosh says:
    Those who knew him will all agree that Gil was an incredibly special person. He was kind, gentle, caring, inspirational, and had the patience of a Saint. In the 25 plus years I knew him I can’t recall ever seeing him angry. He will always hold a special place in my, and my families heats. He will truly be missed! God bless and rest in peace…

  10. 21 Jul 2021
    Jennifer Ney says:
    My Dearest Uncle Punch, otherwise known as Punchie Pooh. I will miss your sound advice and your positive outlook on life. You are a kind, gentle man, with the patience of a saint. I will keep the Gator Nation strong up here in the North! Love and miss you ♥️

  11. 21 Jul 2021
    Jennifer Ney says:
    My Dearest Uncle Punch, otherwise known as Punchie Pooh. I will miss all of your sound advice and your positive outlook on life. You always put others needs ahead of your own. Such a kind, gentle man with the patience of a saint. I will keep the Gator nation strong up here in the North!! Love and miss you ♥️

  12. 21 Jul 2021
    Jennifer Ney lit a candle:
    Lit since July 21, 2021 at 7:16:46 AM

  13. 21 Jul 2021
    Scott & Lisa Fernbach lit a candle:
    Lit since July 21, 2021 at 7:49:17 AM

  14. 21 Jul 2021
    Deborah & Quint says:
    We will miss you Gil. You were an example of peace and gentleness that we will try to follow. We will take care of Maureen and make sure she remembers all the good times. God gave you such a burden to carry in your last years, now you can rest and rejoice for eternity.

  15. 21 Jul 2021
    Beth & Greg lit a candle:
    Lit since July 21, 2021 at 7:41:43 AM

  16. 21 Jul 2021
    Quint & Deborah lit a candle:
    Lit since July 21, 2021 at 7:40:27 AM

  17. 21 Jul 2021
    Gail & Frank Giambattista lit a candle:
    Lit since July 21, 2021 at 7:18:32 AM

  18. 20 Jul 2021
    Barbara Charles lit a candle:
    Lit since July 20, 2021 at 7:51:44 PM

  19. 20 Jul 2021
    Mary R. DuBois-Bruner lit a candle:
    Lit since July 20, 2021 at 7:34:53 PM

  20. 20 Jul 2021
    Maureen lit a candle:
    Lit since July 20, 2021 at 7:01:07 PM

  21. 20 Jul 2021
    Maureen says:
    Sweetie Pooh...I will love you forever

  22. 20 Jul 2021
    Maureen says:
    You called me Sweetie and I called you Sweetie Pooh. Sometimes a little embarrassing when I tried to locate you in Publix! You are the best and I will live you forever.

  23. 20 Jul 2021
    Jamie McIntosh says:
    Gil was an amazing man with an exemplary character. Family came first for Gil. He worked hard to make sure everyone was comfortable and felt included. He had a calming presence, and would hold your hands and say the Lord's prayer with you to soothe your agitation. He was a skillful cook, preparing delicacies on his grill. He was a patient mentor, teaching my sons how to fish and learning the names of my daughter's stuffed animals. He had a great sense of fun and adventure, and he would try anything twice! (Hello, water slide in Aquatica). He was a respectful student of nature, and had something to share about every plant in his garden and bird in the trees. He was my mom's rock, and we will miss him terribly.

  24. 20 Jul 2021
    Gilbert Backenstoss posted an image:
    One of Gil's favorite pass times
    One of Gil's favorite pass times

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