Ronald Gelbrich 1949 - 2022

Ronald Allen Gelbrich, age 73, of Carlton, Oregon, passed away Tuesday, October 25, 2022. He was born May 18, 1949, at Willamette Falls Hospital in Oregon City, Oregon. The oldest child of William Val Gelbrich and Jeannette Aileen (Schoen) Gelbrich, he shared his life with his brothers, Jerry and Glenn, and his sister, Jan.

Ron lived on the Oregon coast for much of his early childhood, moving to the house next to the old Carlton fire station in 1961. He attended Carlton Grade School and graduated from Yamhill-Carlton High School in 1967. Growing up, he loved visiting his grandparents and walking their fields in Lone Elder outside Canby.

Throughout his life, Ron cultivated life-long friendships. This was especially true growing up in Carlton with close friends, Bob Simonson, Dave Jones, Mick Strahle and Charles Juneman. Their stories and laughter continued his whole life and distance never separated them.

At a Yamhill-Carlton High School dance in 1967, Ron met the love of his life, Peggy June Payne. They dated throughout high school and were married September 12, 1969, at the Yamhill Christian Church. They would go on to live adventurously for the next 53 years, raising a family and traveling the world. Their marriage was an example for all to follow.

In his career, Ron embodied success through hard work. While he had little desire to work in the woods like his father, he loved the timber and wood products industry. Ron began his career working for Crown-Zellerbach, maintaining boom sticks with his uncle along the Columbia River. He continued up through Crown for several years working as a log scaler in Astoria, a quality control manager in Tillamook and chip supply manager at Wauna. Each move up prompted a move to a new location.

In 1980, Ron was invited to interview for the woods supply manager position for Louisiana-Pacific in Ketchikan, Alaska. That August, the family moved to Ketchikan for what was anticipated to be a three-year adventure. His career in Alaska extended for 22 years and evolved into several management positions for Louisiana-Pacific and Seley Corp. Ron started his own company as the Alaska distributor for Atlas Powder. Atlas Alaska was later purchased by Klukwan, Inc. and Ron became the CEO. Upon leaving Alaska in 2002, Ron went on to manage operations for Cascade Hardwoods and Pacific Coast Marine in Washington state.

Throughout his time in Alaska and beyond, Ron was known as a champion of the timber and wood products industry, participating in various boards across the Pacific Northwest. In his career he was a quick friend, challenging negotiator and disciplined businessman. He loved that his work allowed him to explore Alaska. He was happiest when flying over timber in a helicopter or landing on a lake to see who could catch the first fish.

After living away for more than 38 years, Ron and Peggy returned to the community of their youth and built a house outside Yamhill. Ron went on to get his real estate license, working for Windemere Pacific Crest Realty until his retirement in 2020. He was deeply committed to his high school, serving on the Yamhill-Carlton School Board for several years.

Ron had many passions throughout his 73 years. He supported his family and was proud to share stories of their mark on this world. He studied and appreciated the weight of history and how it shaped all things. He loved driving and collecting cars, participating in car shows around the region. He had a special affinity for Corvettes, of which he owned three. He was the consummate traveler, extensively exploring East Asia and Europe and visiting every continent but Africa and Antarctica. Always a gentleman and genuinely interested, he could strike up a conversation with anyone.

Ron is survived by his wife, Peggy Gelbrich; his children, Travis, Ian and Allison Gelbrich; his grandchildren, Nathan, Aidan, Oren and Heath Gelbrich; his brother, Jerry Gelbrich; and his sister, Jan (Gelbrich) Amerson.

He will be deeply missed.

Please join us in celebrating the life and legacy of Ron Gelbrich.

The Celebration of Life ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, November 5, in the "Tiger Dome" at Yamhill-Carlton High School. A private graveside service at Pike Cemetery will precede this event. In lieu of flowers, consider sending a donation to: Yamhill-Carlton Booster Club, attn: Tracy Mcgehey, 275 N. Maple Street, Yamhill, OR 97148

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