Robert L. Gilbertson

Obituary
2 entries
  • "Dr. Gilbertson was a fellow Forester in the Southern..."
    - Paul Sheppard
  • "Dad, you were just like a Father to me and I am going to..."
    - Jean Gilbertson
The Guest Book is expired.

Robert L. Gilbertson University of Arizona Emeritus Professor and prominent mycologist, died at home on October 26, 2011 from complications of prostate cancer. Gil was born on January 15, 1925 in Hamilton, MT to George and Eula Norris Gilbertson, grew up in Missoula, graduated from Missoula County High School in 1942, and on his 18th birthday joined the U.S. army, serving for three years. As a combat infantryman, Gil was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and European Theater ribbon with two battle stars. After discharge Gil studied forestry at University of Montana under the G.I. Bill of Rights, graduating with honors in 1949. In 1948 he married Patricia Park. The couple pursued their respective graduate programs at University of Washington. Upon Gil's completion of a MS in botany, they moved to Syracuse, N.Y. where he earned a Ph.D. in mycology and forest pathology at the State University of New York College of Forestry in 1954. Gil held successive faculty positions at University of Idaho (five years), State University of New York College of Forestry (eight years) and in 1967 settled at University of Arizona. He spent the next 30 years teaching mycology and forest pathology, and studying the wood-rotting fungi of North America. Gil trained many students at the master's and doctorate level, and continued to mentor many into their own professional careers. His collaboration with the Norwegian scientist Leif Ryvarden resulted in publication of "The North American Polypores" and "The European Polypores", the most complete references for these groups to date. He continued his research and consulting after retiring in 1997. Gil was predeceased by his parents, brother, George N. Gilbertson and his first wife of 45 years. His son, Park (Jean); daughter, Joan Starn (Bill); five grandchildren and wife, Celia Balfour survive him. Donations in Gil's honor can be made to the "Robert L. Gilbertson Mycological Herbarium" at the University of Arizona, or to the "Dr. Robert L. Gilbertson Scholarship" at the University of Montana that supports students at the Flathead Lake Biological Station. Gil's family and friends will celebrate his life on Saturday, January 14, 2012. Arrangements by HUDGEL'S SWAN FUNERAL HOME.

Published in the Arizona Daily Star from Jan. 8 to Jan. 15, 2012