William Edwin Gorbet, known as Bill, passed away at his home in Richland, Oregon, on January 28, 2021 at the age of 93 just a few weeks short of his 94th birthday. A Traditional Funeral Service with Military Honors will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the Richland Christian Church. Interment will follow at the Eagle Valley Cemetery.
Bill was born in Longview, Washington on February 22, 1927, the first of five children born to Otha and Dorothy Gorbet. They lived on the banks of the Columbia River near Westport, Oregon where Otha worked in the sawmills.
Eventually, Otha and Bill's uncles migrated to Southern California settling in Lomita where Bill was raised. He graduated from Narbonne High School which is where he met his wife, Darlene, who he married in 1945.
Bill was drafted that same year and served in Korea. After being discharged from the service he returned to Lomita where he worked at various jobs. He eventually followed Otha to Standish, Ca where he tried his hand at farming and worked at the sawmill at night pulling green chain.
He did all he could to make a living in that country including milking cows on neighboring farms. After a time, he moved the family into town, Susanville, California where he worked as a mechanic at Burr Automotive. He was offered a better paying mechanic job at the Paul Bunyan Lumber Co. mill and worked there until he was laid off in winter due to lack of work.
A brother-in-law in Lomita that was a concrete contractor offered him year-round work so he moved the family to So. California eventually settling in Torrance. He became a top notch caterpillar operator and mentored a few young guys to become excellent operators themselves, including his oldest son Gene. He also worked as a construction superintendent in charge of overseeing the construction of car agencies up and down the San Joaquin Valley. He had a good knowledge of all building trades. He grew tired of being away from home and returned and easily found a good job operating a caterpillar which was his true calling. He was a 62 year member of Operating Engineers Local 12.
In 1995 Bill and Darlene moved to Richland in peaceful Eagle Valley. His life here suited him perfectly. He and Darlene loved to take evening rides around the valley, especially in the Spring when the newborn started arriving. Bill continued these rides up to his passing. He was an excellent fisherman and hunter and loved the fish and game the country provided.
When Darlene turned ill Bill was put into the role of full time care provider. He had to take on duties he had never performed before. He was determined to keep her home, knowing that removing her would break her heart. With the help of some wonderful local girls he was able to accomplish that amazing feat. Such an amazing testimony of love and devotion.
Bill was a man of faith and read the whole Bible. He served many years as a deacon tending to church duties.
Bill was a man of many talents. He had a green thumb all his life. In high school his Ag teacher picked him to help tend to the greenhouse. He was a member of the South Bay Orchid Society and raised orchids in a little greenhouse he built at home.
He loved flowers and his yard in Richland was always bright with beautiful, blooming flowers. His vegetable garden was also neatly maintained and productive and he enjoyed sharing his bounty.
He was also an expert woodworker. He built amazing intricate- to-scale dollhouses for his granddaughters, rocking horses for his great-grandkids and antler plaques and gun cleaning vises for the hunters in the family. The pieces he donated to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation always drew spirited bidding at their banquets.
Bill was greatly loved by his friends and family and he left behind so many wonderful memories for all to cherish. He was completely selfless and lived to do for others, always thinking of himself last. Anyone that took the time to get to know him came to love him. His smile, warmth and kindness will never be forgotten.
Bill is preceded in death by his wife Darlene and his daughter Beverley Rae. He is survived by sons Gene(Mary) of Paso Robles, Ca. and Gary(Sandy) of Richland, Or. Sister Linda Hay(John) of Susanville, Ca., 4 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, one great-great granddaughter; numerous nieces and nephews.
In honor of Bill's legacy of warmth and kindness I know he would like it if we all do our best to treat each other the best we can.
For those who would like to make a memorial donation in memory of Bill, may do so to Creating Memories for Disabled Children through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home & Cremation Services PO Box 543 Halfway, Oregon 97834. Online condolences may be shared at www.tamispinevalleyfuneralhome.com
Due to Covid regulations – please if coming to the service remember your mask, and to observe social distancing. Thank you for your consideration.