Gilberte “Gil” Julia Poisson (née Dessart), 100

January 29, 2024

Gilberte “Gil” Julia Poisson (née Dessart), born in Brussels, Belgium on August 7,1923, died quickly and peacefully in her home in Naples, Florida after a left hemispheric stroke and an attempted convalescence. She enthusiastically celebrated her 100th birthday in August with her family, devoted nurses, dear friends and neighbors, as if she were a remarkable 70-year-old. She has had the great fortune of receiving the love and care of five incredible nurses, who rotated over a 24-hour period until her death on January 18, 2024.

Gil was a teenage Resistance fighter during World War II under Occupied Belgium. She would use her athleticism—tennis in the summer and figure ice skating year round—as a way to travel unsuspiciously to aid the Allied authorities for those in need to escape persecution.  She recovered from a severe leg wound while running from the SS and frequently feared for her and her family’s lives when stopped on her bike or on the street car.

In 1950, Gil was assigned to the scientific attaché of the Belgium Embassy in Washington DC, the city where she met her first husband. After their divorce, she married the love of her life Robert Poisson in 1974 and raised his son, Pierre, along with her own two children. Professionally, Gil moved from the Belgian Chancellory on Garfield Street to the Belgium Ambassador’s Office. After working through four tours of ambassadorship, she and Robert retired to Marco Island, Florida.

Forever in search for their “forever” place, Gil moved with Robert to Naples where they became real estate agents with JR Wood.  Gil and Robert enjoyed eight summers in Concord Massachusetts, living with her daughter and son-in-law, Patricia and Carl Geyer.  After Robert’s death in 2011, Gil moved from Pelican Bay to the Mercado to give up her Volkswagen Beetle and access her daily needs as she aged.  Known as Mrs. P. at Bravo Restaurant, Gil ate two meals a day there for a decade, until her 97th birthday, when Covid raged and disrupted her Concord summers.  Along with her love of travel and of chihuahuas, Gil was a 25-year cancer survivor (thanks to Lahey Clinic and NCH), Jaguar XKE enthusiast, champion ice skater, bridge player, volunteer at NCH, old movie fanatic, church goer, and computer gamer throughout her life. She gave up her computer only in December 2023.

Gil leaves her children, Patricia, Allen and Pierre, along with their respective spouses, Carl, Amy and Beth. She also leaves her four grand children, Perry (Charleston, SC), Erinn (Millcreek, UT), Christine, and Nicole (Carlsbad, CA). She is survived by many relatives in Belgium, especially her beloved Gerard and Domenic Dessart (Lisbon, Portugal).

Gil requests no services, flowers, or other forms of tribute, except to acknowledge her nurses and her final care by AVOW Hospice. The disposition of her ashes with those of Robert will occur within the year, per Gil’s request to wait for calmer emotions.