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Gilbert prides herself on listening skills, helpfullness

LANETT — Being a good listener and always being there when needed is what makes Deborah Gilbert a good neighbor.

“Sometimes if someone is having a problem the best thing you can do for them is to be there for them and listen to them,” she said. “It always makes me feel good when someone thanks me for listening to them.”

Gilbert did lots of listening to people in her 26 years as manager for the local Charter Communications affiliate. Those who came in to talk to her didn’t always get what they wanted, but they did appreciate having someone hear them out.

Gilbert has been with the City of Lanett for the past four years. After she retired from Charter, she was an accounts payable clerk for a couple of years and is now the city clerk.

Gilbert and her husband Charlie have two grown children.

Their son, Charles “Chachi” Gilbert, and daughter, Reagan, were honor students at Lanett High. Charles and his wife, the former Angela Scott of Lanett, live in the Houston, Texas area, where Charles is an engineer for Exxon Mobil. They have a six-year-old son named Malcolm.

Reagan is in her third year of teaching at W.O. Lance Elementary School in Lanett. She was the school district’s “Teacher of the Year” for the elementary level last year.

Gilbert’s sister, Sandra Thornton, is a council member in West Point. She also works part-time for the Lanett Recreation Department.

Being a good listener is a calling for Gilbert.

“People have come to my house just to talk,” she said. “I know that listening to people and trying to help them is something I’ve done all my life. It’s what I am here for.”