Volunteer trail builder, trail tender and historic advocate for the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood regions — plus loving husband, father and grandfather — William Ray (Bus) Gibson passed at his East Portland home on Aug. 1. He was 86 years old and experienced a life well lived.
He was born and raised in Hood River Valley by parents Ray and Alice (Duchess) Gibson, along with two older sisters. He attended Oregon State University and Portland State University, served with the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict, and then completed a 25-year career as an Air Traffic Controller at Portland International for the Federal Aviation Administration.
In 1959, he met and married Donna Viducich from Portland to raise their family of three children in the West Gresham area, living in the same residence for 55 years. After his early retirement, Bus worked in property management, real estate and held various part-time regional jobs.
Bus’s legacy lives on with his passionate dedication and leadership for leading hikes, building trails plus being a knowledgeable tour-guide and historian for the Gorge and Mount Hood areas. He joined the Mazamas in the late 1960s and received the Mazama’s Parker Cup in 1996 and the Hardesty Cup in 2001.
He was also formally recognized by the U.S. Forest Service for his contributions to the Columbia Gorge Trail Program of 1996, for leading 21 trail trip repair and work parties in the Spring. Plus, Bus actively volunteered for the Mt. Hood Forest Service office, Rocky Butte Restoration Society, the Columbia Gorge Historical Society, the Oregon Historical Society, Columbia River Gorge Golden Spirit Tour boat and Nadaka Nature Park. His last big project was working as one of the founding trail builders of the now popular Cape Horn Trail. Bus’s “happy place” was scouting unknown areas in the off-beaten forests and spending evenings researching the next day’s adventure.
Bus’s deep and early passion for the outdoors has been clearly passed onto many, including his immediate family. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Donna; daughter, Teresa, in New Zealand; son, Steve, in White Salmon, Wash.; and youngest daughter, Sandra, in New York City. Grandchildren include Sarah, Kutumi, Hayden and Amitiel. He is proceeded by his sisters Marie Taylor and Ruth Potts.
A service and interment will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 1 p.m. in the Willamette National Cemetery, located at 11800 S.E. Mt. Scott Blvd., Portland. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to www.CapeHornConservancy.org in his name.
Our special thanks and gratitude to the Brighton Hospice Team.
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