Eugene “Gene” Howard Gilbertson passed away June 12, 2019, surrounded by his loving family, after a fierce battle with congestive heart failure. He was a strong opponent who never gave up demonstrating his competitive spirit, but in the end, the fight was too much.
Gene was born in St. Helena, California, on Aug. 10, 1940, to Rolf and Mildred Gilbertson. He was the middle child, and is survived by his older brother, Orin, and younger brother, Gary.
He graduated from North Salem High School in 1959, where he was a state champion in track and field. He received scholarships in track and field, football and academics to attend Linfield, graduating in 1964.
While at Linfield, Gene met the love of his life, Beverly, and married her in Mill Valley, California, in 1964. They shared their love for almost 55 years together.
Gene moved to Seaside in 1965 to teach physical education and coach basketball and track. After earning a library degree from Portland State University, he served as librarian at Central School, Cannon Beach Elementary School, Broadway Middle School and Seaside High School.
In 1973, he was hired as head track coach at Seaside High School, retiring in 2007. “Mr. G,” in his years of teaching and coaching, numerous students and athletes were affected by his encouragement, inspiration and his ability to see the potential in all.
The tangible success resulted in four state championship teams, and 35 individual state champions, earning him Track and Field Coach of the Year three times for the state of Oregon.
While proud of these achievements, he would rather discuss the countless individual athletes he coached, and their personal best stories. These accomplishments were a testament to his ability to motivate people to achieve success they may have believed beyond their capabilities.
Gene was a loving and devoted husband, father, papa and great-papa. His wife, Beverly, two children, Shawn and Lisa, their spouses, six grandchildren, a great-granddaughter, two brothers and four nieces will miss his love, advice, excellent supervisory skills, competitiveness and his can-do spirit.
He was an educator, mentor, friend, master gardener, golfer, carpenter, cook and adept salmon fisher, which resulted in many amazing salmon dinners. He had unconditional love for all, even when occasionally out-fished or bested on the golf course. His family, and all who were influenced by his spirit, will deeply miss him.
A celebration of Gene’s life will occur on Saturday, July 13, at 3 p.m. at Beacon On Broadway in Seaside, Oregon.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to fund the Gene Gilbertson Memorial Scholarship. Donations can be sent in his name to Seaside Scholarships, P.O. Box 332, Seaside, OR 97138, or donate online at seasidescholarships.com/donate.
Please indicate the donation is for the Gene Gilbertson Fund within the notes/memo on the check, or in the “Add a Note” section online.