Gilbert “Gib” Philbrick passed away on May 25, 2019 at The Sussman House in Rockport. Gib was born in Rangeley on September 26, 1928, first son of Ralph and Louise Whitten Philbrick. He graduated from Rangeley High School in 1947 and from the University of Maine Orono.
Gib grew up in the Maine woods, learning to hunt, fish and trap by his father’s side. Growing up on the shores of Rangeley Lake, it seems that he and his buddies led the life of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Summers were spent swimming, building rafts, and learning to sail on a homemade boat with a bed sheet for sails. Winters were spent skating on Haley Pond, skiing, and ski jumping on a “homemade” jump. Gib’s father, Ralph, was his hero and he taught him the fine art of fly fishing. Gib also loved being in the company of the “old” guides, so he learned from the best on Kennebago Lake. He spent many years guiding fly fisherman at the Kennebago Lake Club. Gib became a good basketball player during his school years. He went on to play at UMO and even had a short stint with a semi pro team in Rhode Island. He became a teacher and basketball coach, first in Clinton, ME, Rumford, ME and Williamantic, CT. He came back to UMO working with the men’s basketball staff under Brian McCall and became assistant coach from 1966-68 and head coach from 1968-71.
In 1975 Gib became owner and captain of the Schooner Nathaniel Bowditch, sailing the coast of Maine for 29 years as part of the Windjammer Fleet. Gib often said that he found another wilderness amongst the spruce covered islands in Penobscot Bay that reminded him of his home in the Rangeley Lakes area, when spruce was king.
He leaves behind his wife of 40 years, Terry Weatherhead Philbrick, his sons and daughter-in-laws, Jack and Jody Philbrick of Thousand Oaks, CA, Tom and Susan Philbrick of Boothbay, ME, and Bert and Janice Philbrick of Owls Head, ME; grandchildren, Forest Roy and husband Gino of Thousand Oaks, CA, Lacey Philbrick of Thousand Oaks, CA, Bronwyn Philbrick of Thousand Oaks, Bronson Philbrick of Owls Head, ME, Aaron Philbrick of Saco, ME, Celia Philbrick of Boothbay, ME, Greg Crupi of Cumberland, ME, Nicole Crupi of Portland, ME, Matt Crupi of Portland, ME; great grandchildren, Tiger Lily Roy, Dandelion “Dandy” Roy, Periwinkle “Wink” Roy of Thousand Oaks, CA, Jacob Philbrick of Saco, ME, Emeline Crupi of Cumberland, ME and several nieces and nephews; his brothers Alan Philbrick of Rangeley, ME, and Col. John and wife Paula Philbrick of Prospect, VA. Another very special person in Gib’s life is Anette Widestrom, an exchange student from Sweden. Gib will be remembered for his loud, booming Philbrick voice, his laughter, his smile and all his “stories”.
A memorial service to celebrate Gib’s life will be held Friday, June 7 at 11 am at Hall Funeral Home, 949 Maine Street, Waldoboro.
In lieu of flowers, friends wishing to remember Gib in a special way are asked to do so to The Sussman House, 40 Anchor Drive, Rockport, ME 04856.
Hall’s of Waldoboro has care of the arrangements. To extend online condolences visit www.hallfuneralhomes.com.