Rod Gilbert death: Mr Ranger's wife Judy Christy stood by him for 30 years
'It was his love for the Rangers and the people of New York that endeared him to generations of fans and forever earned him the title, 'Mr Ranger''
Rod Gilbert, the Montreal-born Hall of Fame forward, who was fondly titled by his fans and followers as 'Mr Ranger', has died at the age of 80. The team made the sad announcement on Sunday, August 22. Now newsreaders want to know more about him and his personal life.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Rod Gilbert one of the greatest Rangers to ever play for our organization and one of the greatest ambassadors the game of hockey has ever had,” Madison Square Garden executive chairman and Rangers owner James Dolan said in a statement. “While his on-ice achievements rightly made him a Hall of Famer, it was his love for the Rangers and the people of New York that endeared him to generations of fans and forever earned him the title, ‘Mr Ranger.’ Our thoughts are with Rod’s wife, Judy, and the entire Gilbert family during this difficult time. They will always be a part of the Rangers family.”
Who was Rod Gilbert's wife?
The immensely popular Gilbert was born in Montreal in 1941 and grew up admiring Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion and the Canadiens before starting a career in hockey with Guelph of the Ontario Hockey Association in 1957. Gilbert’s career was nearly wrecked in 1960 when he was briefly paralyzed after breaking his back while slipping on debris thrown on the ice and smashing into the boards, undergoing the first of two spinal fusion surgeries.
The second operation happened while with the Rangers during the 1965-66 season, and Gilbert was granted the Masterton Trophy in 1976, which was given annually for perseverance and dedication to hockey. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982. Gilbert remained a prominent figure at the Garden and contributor to the franchise throughout his retirement, serving as an ambassador and community relations representative involved with the Garden of Dreams Foundation and as the team’s director of special projects. Gilbert, the franchise’s all-time leader in goals (406) and points (1,021) and the first NHL player to have his jersey (No. 7) retired at Madison Square Garden, spent his entire 18-year career in a starring role for the Blueshirts from 1960-78.
Gilbert married Judith Christy, a New York advertising executive, in 1991 at the Church Center for the United Nations. Mayor David N. Dinkins performed the ceremony. At that time Christy was 43 years old and was working as the chief operating officer and the managing director of Burkhardt & Christy Advertising. She completed her graduation from Michigan State University and received a master's degree in communications from Hofstra University. She is the daughter of Pearl Christy-Schiffman of Brooklyn and the late David Christy-Schiffman.