OBITUARY: Ronald E. Philbrook

Ron Philbrook obit photo

Sept. 8, 1939 – March 26, 2013

Ronald Edward Philbrook, 73, passed away March 26, 2013, surrounded by family at his home in Wallowa.

He was born Sept. 8, 1939, in Wauna, Ore., to Edward and Myrtle (Larson) Philbrook.

He attended school in Rainier, Wash., and then served in the Air Force from 1958 to 1962.

Ron met the love of his life, Maureen, at the Busy Bee Restaurant in Rainier. They fell in love and were married June 4,1966, in Kelso, Wash.

He worked as a longshoreman for 38 years, volunteering for ILWU No. 21 as secretary/treasurer for nine years and health and welfare officer for 10 years.

Ron and Maureen owned and operated the Homestead restaurant/bar from 1975 to 1979 in Wallowa.

He volunteered on the budget committee for the Rainier School District and then was elected to the Rainier School Board for four years.

He spent nine years on the Board of Directors for Lower Columbia Longshoremen’s Federal Credit Union.

Ron and Maureen retired January 2000 and moved to Wallowa. He volunteered for the city of Wallowa Budget Committee, and then was elected to the city council before being elected mayor.

He was a member of the American Legion and Masonic Lodge.

Ron was a skilled carpenter, talented at remodeling, and an accomplished gardener, enjoying nature.

He was devoted to those he loved, a thoughtful friend, and good listener.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Maureen (Kirk) Philbrook at home in Wallowa.

Survivors include his children and their spouses, John Philbrook of Longview, Wash.; Karin and Brian Hogg of Longview; Amy and Keith Wellens of Wallowa, from a previous marriage; Randy and Jeanette Philbrook of Vancouver, Wash.; and Diane and Ken Grady of Smith River, Calif.  He is also survived by sister Loretta and Gary Viuhkola of Clatskanie; brother Richard and Melissa Philbrook of Kelso; 11 cherished grandchildren, Ryan, Greg, Sean, Leah, Jaren, Ross, Eric, Sara, Will, Karl and Claire; and great-grandchild Luke.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Ellen Diane Philbrook.

A private graveside service will be held for the family. A celebration of life will be held from noon to 3 p.m. April 6 at the McClelland Arts Center in Longview, Wash., and a celebration will also be held April 13 in Wallowa.

To plant a tree in memory of Ronald Philbrook as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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