Lee Gillette Hibler
October 19, 1944 - October 20, 2018
Lee Hibler died at home October 20th, the day after his 74th birthday, surrounded by his loving family, after a long decline from Lewy Body disease. He was born in Eureka, California, to Fred and Lynette Hibler, and was the youngest of three boys born within three years of each other.
Lee had an idyllic childhood growing up with his brothers in rural Humboldt County where they could duck hunt in the fields behind their house and fish in numerous streams. They were all active in Boy Scouts and all became Eagle Scouts. Summer highlights included time at the family cabin on the Trinity River and backpacking with their father in the Marble Mountain Wilderness.
Lee earned his degree at Humboldt State College and then his Masters in counseling at Oregon State University. While at Humboldt, he married Sally Anderson and had a son, Patrick. Following their divorce, he moved to Oregon to begin his teaching career.
In 1977, Lee met and married the love of his life, Patricia (Trish) Bentley, and two more children followed, Megan and Kyle.
Lee spent his career teaching and counseling high school students and 31 of those years were at North Salem High School. Thousands of students knew Mr. Hibler as their counselor but few knew he was voted Mr. Senior at Eureka High School, drove through the U.S. on a year-long trip as a teenager, worked in a camera shop to put himself through college, had been a life guard in Japan, climbed South Sister with Trish and swam with the reef sharks in the Galapagos.
Lee had a life-long love of the outdoors, making more than 25 fishing trips to the Alaskan wilderness. His other true passion was floating whitewater, especially the Deschutes River. His love for the river and steelhead fishing was infectious. Soon many of his friends also owned drift boats or rafts. Thus began 45 years of family and friends trips that brought lasting memories. Lee and Trish also enjoyed travelling, golf, and adventures with their grandchildren.
Lee is survived by Trish, his wife of 41 years, his children, Patrick, Megan (Andrew) Grim, and Kyle (Valerie). Lee will also be missed by his grandchildren Elsa, Isla, Milo, and Lewis and by his brothers Ross (Jeanne), and Gary (Janie), and a large extended family and many friends.
We especially want to thank all the family and friends who supported us through the years of Lee’s decline. He was able to stay at home with their help and the loving care from Michelle Garrison, his caregiver.
A celebration of Lee’s life will be held on November 17 at 1 PM at Zenith Vineyard, 5657 Zena Rd NW, Salem, OR. Please wear festive attire and bring your stories.
Memorial contributions may be made to Willamette Valley Hospice, WaterWatch of Oregon, or Oregon Brain Bank at OHSU.
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