Gilbert “Gib” Philbrick, 90

Warren, Maine

Gilbert “Gib” Philbrick passed away on May 25, 2019 at The Sussman House in Rockport. Gib was born in Rangeley on Sept. 26, 1928, first son of Ralph and Louise Whitten Philbrick. He graduated from Rangeley High School in 1947 and from the University of Maine.

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, 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 UMaine and even had a short stint with a semi-pro team in Rhode Island. He became a teacher and basketball coach in two towns in Maine, Clinton and Rumford, and in Willimantic, Conn. He then came back to UMaine, 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 among 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 daughters-in-law, Jack and Jody Philbrick of Thousand Oaks, Calif., Tom and Susan Philbrick of Boothbay, Maine, and Bert and Janice Philbrick of Owls Head, Maine.

Another very special person in Gib’s life was 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.

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