OCEAN PARK - Ralph Gilbert passed away at his home on June 26, 2004, at the age of 74 after a valiant battle with cancer.
Mr. Gilbert was born in Colville on March 13, 1930, to Ralph and Lorraine (Pearsale) Gilbert, and graduated from Colville High School in 1948. The following year, he married his high school sweetheart, Patricia Johnson.
He attended Eastern Washington University and then the Colorado School of Trades specializing in gunsmithing. He owned and operated the Sportsmans Gun Shop in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and later Ed's Gun Shop in Spokane. He and his family moved to Yakima in 1969, where he worked for Ljutic Industries, later for Dakota Aircraft and then Hanford as a quality control engineer.
After electing to take an early retirement from Hanford they moved to Mukilteo where Mr. Gilbert went to work for Production Milling as a quality control engineer. While in Mukilteo, he and his wife became members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, where he developed a deep affection for the Coast Guard.
Upon retirement in 1991 the couple decided to make one more move which brought them to Ocean Park where they became very involved with the U. S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary at Cape Disappointment. The "Coasties" became their extended family. His volunteer activities included patrolling, search and rescue, watch standing and instructing, to name a few. He was a mentor and inspiration to his Coast Guard family.
Mr. Gilbert was always an active outdoorsman excelling in everything he attempted, which included: hunting, fishing, trapshooting, golfing, skiing, etc. He was a loving husband and father who enjoyed spending time with his family. His wife and their family and friends will always remember his spirit and zest for life.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Patty, of Ocean Park; son, Greg Gilbert and wife Casey of Tieton; and daughter, Cindy Rollinger and husband Ken of Cowiche; sister, Ollie Mae Wilson of Northport; six grandchildren: Laura Gilbert, Brandon Rollinger, Michelle Rollinger, Michael Gilbert, Jenny Winkel, and Crissy Gimlin; and three great-grandchildren: Jeremie Gilbert, Holden Gimlin, and Charlene Gimlin. He was preceded in death by his loving parents.
Services are being held Friday, July 2, at 10 a.m. at the U.S. Coast Guard Station, Cape Disappointment. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ralph Gilbert Memorial at The Bank of the Pacific, Long Beach, Washington. Arrangements by Penttila's Chapel by The Sea, Long Beach.