Loberta Bartlett Gwin passed away on
November 2, 2021 at Timber Ridge in McKinleyville at the age of 98.
was born in Rio Dell (Stephenson Hollow) on December 19, 1922. She
had two sisters and a brother, both sisters are deceased, one just
recently. She lived in Lake County for a short time, but resided in
Humboldt County most of her life. Loberta attended elementary school
in Rio Dell, Yager Creek, Hydesville, and graduated eighth grade at
Rohnerville Elementary School. She graduated from Fortuna Union High
School in 1940.
graduation, Loberta worked as a secretary/clerk for Robert Newell in
Fortuna and later as a waitress in Fortuna. She spent a year at
Asilomar on a government project, was a telephone operator in South
San Francisco, and worked for the California Barrel Factory in
married Donald W. Gwin after World War II. They lived in Arcata and
Blue Lake before moving to McKinleyville in 1950, where their three
children, Barry, Gerald, and Donette were born. While the children
were growing up, Loberta attended College of the Redwoods and
Humboldt State University obtaining her AA in Library Technology. She
was subsequently employed as the librarian at the McKinleyville
Elementary School, where she enjoyed her job and the students for 28
traveled extensively. In Norway, she and her husband, Donald, visited
his relatives. She has made several return trips to Norway. Loberta
and Don toured many parts of Canada and the United States. After her
husband passed away, a teacher friend, Pauline Webster, became her
traveling partner touring the British Isles and eight of the European
countries. She and Pauline also visited China, Australia, New
Zealand, Fiji, and Hawaii. She also took a cruise up the Inland
Passage to Alaska and with Pauline took a guided tour in South
America. Africa is the only continent she didn’t visit. She made
several attempts to tour a part of Africa, but something always
foiled her plans.
her children’s school years, Loberta belonged to the PTA (Parent
Teachers Association), was a den mother for Cub Scouts and a member
of CSEA. After retiring from school in 1991, she belonged to the
state CSEA and helped organize the retiree luncheons for the
McKinleyville Elementary School. During her working years, Loberta
attended quite a few of the state CSEA conventions and most of the
the past, Loberta attended the United Methodist Church in Arcata for
many years, was a member of the Humboldt Historical Society, the
Humboldt Pioneers, and was on the board of the Humboldt County
Library (McKinleyville Branch). For 20
years, she was chairperson
and organized the drivers for
was very active with the Fortuna High School Class of 1940. For
several years, she helped with the class reunions and kept in touch
with most of the remaining graduates.
couple of her claims to fame: Loberta rescued the old Washington
School bell, which has been placed by the McKinleyville School
District Office. She also rescued the old Dows Prairie School bell, which is now located in its proper place at the Dows Prairie
Loberta completed a life-long dream by writing and publishing a book entitled “Dow’s North of Mad River” and another book entitled “Hills of Rohnerville”. She was a historian at heart and was always looking up information, especially local history, which kept her busy for many years.
Loberta is survived by her three children, son Barry Gwin currently in Boise, Idaho, son Gerald and his wife Julie Gwin of Santa Rosa, California, and daughter Donette and her husband Ken Morris of Anderson, California; and one grandson Philip and his wife Jennifer Gwin of Brightwood, Oregon. She is also survived by her brother, Elwood and his wife Deanna Bartlett of Arcata, California, and many nieces and nephews.
was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Gwin, parents Irving and
Dora Mary Ransdell Bartlett, her sisters Juanita Bartlett Waggoner
and Jean Bartlett Gwin.
made many special friends throughout her life.
If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the Humboldt County Historical Society, Humboldt Library Foundation, or a charity of your choice.
No services are planned at this time. A celebration of her life in combination with her sister, Jean, will follow at a later date. Loberta’s family would like to thank the staff at Timber Ridge of McKinleyville and Hospice of Humboldt for their caring and compassionate support.
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Loberta Gwin’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.