Estacada resident, Gilbert Shibley, died peacefully on Friday, September 8, 2023 surrounded by his family. A memorial service will be held 10 AM, Saturday, October 28 at 10:30 AM at Grace Crossing Bible Church in Estacada, OR.
Gilbert was born in the community of Springwater near Estacada to Margaret Wilma Beck and Everett Almon Shibley. He graduated from Estacada High School in 1956 and attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR, graduating in 1960 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology. At Lewis and Clark, Gilbert met Barbara Essman, and they were married on November 27, 1959 in Klamath Falls, OR. Together they raised four children while Gilbert completed a doctoral program in Biology at the University of Oregon and taught at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. They returned to Oregon in 1975 where they lived in Portland until moving to their forest home in Springwater in 1997.
An educator at heart, Gilbert continued teaching during a long career with the Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service. He spent six years as 4-H Extension Agent for Multnomah County before transferring to a similar position in Columbia County where he directed 4-H camps and organized 4-H forestry clubs. In 1987, he was honored by the county for programming that he initiated to foster creative thinking. After leaving 4-H Extension in 1990 to work full-time on his family’s Springwater property, he completed Clackamas County Extension’s Master Woodland Manager course in 1993 in order to increase his knowledge of effective forest management. Until his retirement in 2008, Gilbert again worked for OSU as part-time Extension Forestry Assistant for Clackamas County where he advised family foresters, taught over 100 classes in basic forestry management, and led demonstrations and tours. He became a local expert on taxation issues specific to family forests. He was also active in many local forestry and land-related groups, including the Oregon Small Woodlands Association, the Clackamas County Farm Forestry Association (CCFA), Forests Forever, Inc. (where he served on the Board of Directors for over 10 years during the formation of the non-profit organization that formed the Hopkins Demonstration Forest in Beavercreek), and the Clackamas River Basin Council (CRBC) (which he chaired for two years). Gilbert was honored in 2010 with the CRBC’s Cole Gardiner Stewardship Award for his diverse service on the council, and he was the 2016 recipient of the CCFFA’s Evergreen Award, which honors a past Woodland Farmer of the Year (2005) who demonstrates outstanding devotion to forest stewardship, sound forestry practices, community service, and education.
Gilbert was happiest at home on the property stewarding the forest with Barbara, his wife of 63 years. He enjoyed sharing the place with guests, extended family, his children, and grandchildren; he was always ready with a bit of local history or a mini-forestry lesson. He was an avid reader on a range of subjects. Together he and Barbara shared a love of classical music, and they enjoyed regular treks into Portland to attend Oregon Symphony performances. A dedicated churchman, Gilbert was a life-long Presbyterian and a member of Springwater Presbyterian Church where he served in many capacities. Through his adult years he was active at Presbyterian churches in Appleton and Portland where he served as an Elder and as a leader for ChristCare Small Group Ministry, adult education, and environmental stewardship.
Gilbert had a deep love for his family, and he will be greatly missed. He is survived by his four children and their spouses, seven grandchildren and their spouses/partners, two great-grandchildren, his sister, and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hopkins Demonstration Forest: https://demonstrationforest.org or All Classical Radio: https://www.allclassical.org.