On June 3, 2021, Ace Barry Gilbertson, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed peacefully with his wife and children at his side. He was 74 years old.
Ace was born on April 11, 1947, in Luverne, Minnesota, to Earle Steven and Esther Irene Gilbertson. His family of six children later moved to Lebanon. There, Ace attended elementary, middle and high school, and graduated from Lebanon Union High School in 1965.
He joined the U.S. Army in 1966, and served as a pre-surgical medic in a mobile hospital in Vietnam until his honorable discharge in 1968. During his service, Ace was wounded and was awarded the Purple Heart. He felt honored to work with dedicated doctors, nurses and other medics, with whom he maintained lifelong friendships.
In 1969, Ace began attending Southern Oregon College (now Southern Oregon University), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business management in 1973.
Ace worked in Pacific Power customer service offices, including Astoria and Seaside, from 1973 until he retired in 1998. After retiring from Pacific Power, he worked for Portland General Electric. During this time he commuted to Portland and was welcomed to stay in the homes of his niece, Tammy, and nephew, Clark, during his work week.
After retiring from Portland General Electric, he took his part-time “dream job” at Gearhart Golf Links, which included golf privileges for him and his guests.
Ace valued the friendships he developed in every school and workplace, and stayed in contact with friends over the years. The past few years he looked forward to potluck lunches with other Pacific Power retirees.
On July 12, 1975, Ace married his best friend and college sweetheart, Susan Elizabeth Clark. The couple bought their first house in Gresham in 1978. Their two children, Peter and Emily, were born in Portland. The family moved to Warrenton in 1985, where they have lived for 36 years.
Family has always been Ace’s greatest joy and first priority. He loved being a dad and later a grandpa. He coached Peter and Emily’s Seaside Kids Inc. baseball and softball teams for many years. Ace enjoyed watching and cheering on his kids and grandchildren when they participated in sports activities.
He spent many happy hours watching his daughter and grandchildren dancing in dance classes, dance recitals and “Nutcracker Suite” performances. He also enjoyed countless hours of fun playing card games, board games, going for bike rides, tennis, golf, playing in the sand, hide-and-seek, kick the can and ball games with his children and grandchildren.
Ace was always generous with his time and love for his family. He always said, “Yes!” when asked to play.
Ace was an avid golfer and sports fan. He was interested in a wide variety of sports, but a dedicated fan of Oregon State University sports and Seattle Mariners baseball.
For many years, Ace was an active member of Seaside United Methodist Church and Seaside Kiwanis.
Fishing trips to his nephew Wynn’s home with brothers and their families in Alaska, reconnecting with old friends at his 50th high school reunion and trips to Disneyland and Sunriver with his kids and their families were highlights of his retirement years.
Ace and Susan loved taking walks in their neighborhood and to the beach. They always felt very blessed to live at the coast, surrounded by the beauty of nature and the wonder of wildlife.
They have been so thankful for the thoughtfulness of caring family, friends and neighbors.
Ace was preceded in death by his father, Earle, and mother, Irene Gilbertson.
He is survived by his wife, Susan; his children, Peter (April), and grandchildren, Micah, Elsa and Miles, of Sherwood, and Emily (Chad), and grandchildren, Daphne, Griffin and Luca, of Astoria; his four brothers, James (Althea), Curt (Judy), Lee and Neil; sister, Drue; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Ace will always be remembered for his welcoming personality, his quick wit, infectious smile and his kind and gentle spirit.
The family would like to thank the Clatsop Care Memory Community and Providence Seaside Hospital for the excellent and loving care Ace received.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Providence Seaside Hospital and Seaside Kids Inc.
A graveside service will be held at Fort Stevens National Cemetery in Hammond on Aug. 6 at 11 a.m.
Arrangements are being made by Ocean View Funeral and Cremation Services of Astoria.