Bob went through Oakland Public Schools and graduated from UC Berkeley in 1969 with a BA in Political Science. He then hit the road, traveling east with a sleeping bag, a backpack and a thumb. On that journey, he met his future wife, Martha (who was traveling west), in Colorado.
After many adventures hitchhiking through Mexico (some exciting, some harrowing), Bob and Martha returned to California and settled on a small mining claim in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. From there, they moved to an organic orange orchard and very small dairy in the Sacramento Valley. Bob spent the rest of his twenties learning the ins and outs of farming and country living.
In 1973, Bob and Martha traveled to North Central Washington to pick fruit which was the beginning of Bob’s career in apple, pear and cherry orchards that continued until retirement. While living in Wenatchee their two children, Leah and Seth, were born.
In 1980, Bob and his family settled in Bridgeport, Washington, where Bob managed Bridgeport Orchards. From Bridgeport, Bob moved north to Tonasket in 1984 and managed the Tonasket-area orchards for Apple Management Company (AMC). The family soon followed, and shortly after, Bob became Production Manager for all of AMC’s orchards, which were mostly situated in the Brewster/Bridgeport area. Bob loved everything about the world of fruit orchards and stayed in that job until he retired. He also, during those years, became a savvy investor in the stock market.
Bob loved to golf and spent many hours at the Oroville Golf Course, even after his health began to fail. He also played numerous golf courses in California while he lived there for three years, taking care of his mother, who had Alzheimers.
Bob was a very sociable person, made many good friends and had many good times. He was a great storyteller and loved making people laugh. Life for and with Bob, especially as a young man, tended to be exciting and fun. Bob dearly loved his family and he will be greatly missed.
Bob was preceded in death by his mother and father. He is survived by his wife, Martha; his children, Leah (Welby) Nielsen, Seth (Kelly Irish) Gibeaut; his grandchildren, Zoey, Ezra, and Violet Nielsen; his sister, Georgia (Philip) McCarthy; his brothers, Bill (Sherry) Gibeaut, Frank (Barbara) Gibeaut and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Bob’s life will be held during the summer in Tonasket, Washington, which he considered home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bob’s name to the Tonasket Food Bank, 101 Hwy 97, Tonasket, WA 98855.