On June 19, 2013, Gael Kubli passed away suddenly from a heart attack in Granada, Nicaragua where he had been enjoying life with the ex-pat community of retirees. Gael was born October 11, 1948, in Chico, Calif. to Gerald and Emma Kubli. His father's occupation as a teacher and school administrator led to multiple moves, so Gael spent his youth living in Chico, Vacaville, Sutter, Weed, Mt. Shasta, Ft. Jones, and finally Yreka, where he graduated from Yreka High School in 1966.
Gael loved athletics, earning letters in basketball and baseball at Y.H.S. After graduation, he attended the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo earning a degree in marine engineering while playing on the Academy's basketball team. Gael joined the Merchant Marines in 1969 and began a career as an engineer on commercial vessels. For years he traveled the world on all kinds of ships, but he always came back to his roots in Siskiyou County and Southern Oregon.
He eventually landed in Ashland, where he made many friends. He played numerous seasons of softball as a member of the always entertaining Ashland Animals team. For many he will be remembered by his nickname Clyde.
In 1983 he married another transplant to Ashland, Debbie Dowler from Colorado. Gael eventually tired of shipping out, and took a job on the alumni staff at the Maritime Academy. While they were living in the Bay Area, Debbie and Gael's two children, Nick and Kacee, were born. In 1989 Debbie was diagnosed with cancer and the family moved back up to Southern Oregon. During the years that Debbie fought the disease, Gael took a job with Delaval Corporation, selling high tech items to the shipping industry all across the country. His dear wife passed away in 1993, leaving Gael with the task of raising two young children alone. He was devoted to raising them in Ashland, and they were his crowning accomplishments in life.
Gael was an avid amateur photographer and spent most of his adult life taking pictures chronicling his travels and adventures. He spent many miles on backroads seeking one scenic photo opportunity after another - always seeing life with a photographer's eye. Never one to miss a social gathering, Gael was a fixture at Alex's Restaurant in Ashland. He loved to dance, but he could also be found sitting around talking to friends and watching a game on the TV.
Gael was a unique individual who traveled to the beat of a different drummer. Those who loved him knew that he moved to Gael time and could expect him to be at least an hour late for any planned get together. He had opinions on every issue from politics to sports and was not afraid to share them with those around him. He considered himself an environmentalist, and was active in keeping Jefferson State a natural beauty. For Gael life was full of opportunities. He loved buying and selling everything. Yard sales were a passion for him, and he was forever finding treasures hidden amongst the other items.
Gael will be missed by his family and by those who knew him well. He leaves behind his son Nick and his daughter Kacee, both of Corvallis, and his siblings Tim Kubli, Joel Kubli, and Jan Carrie and their families. No service is planned, but friends are encouraged to gather together and offer up a toast to him as they share some of the amusing stories of his life. A celebration of his life is being planned for October and will be announced then.