We will forever hold our wonderful Caroline Gibson in our hearts. Caroline passed away at home with her partner Walt and her sister Mary Jane by her side in Port Townsend on July 11, 2021 following a lengthy battle with cancer.
Born February 6, 1964, in London, Ontario, Caroline navigated the world with endless sparkle and humor. Her ability to appreciate every fish leaping, flower blooming, and twinkly light glimmering on the Christmas tree (which she said was the “best tree ever,” every year), was magical. Caroline had little tolerance for complaining, and even when very ill, she radiated the good cheer that all who met her will forever remember. She loved sharks, baby gorillas, float planes, ice skating, cheeseburgers, prosecco, and celebrating all occasions. Caroline was hilarious, silly, and made everything fun. She told fantastic stories, was indescribably generous, and loved connecting people. She was interested in everything, and she made everything interesting.
Caroline followed in her father John’s footsteps as a scientist and conservationist. Her fondest memories were of her summers with her father, roaming the woods and rivers at the Matamek Research Station in Quebec. She forged many lifelong friendships when she lived in Maine, where she served as assistant to the director of the Darling Marine Center. During her career in Washington’s Northwest Straits, Caroline served as a member of the Jefferson Marine Resources Committee, as the Marine Program Manager at the Northwest Straits Commission, and as executive director of the Northwest Straits Foundation. She formed the Salish Sea International Kelp Alliance, increasing awareness, understanding, and support for kelp as critical habitat. She worked with commercial fishermen on ways to reduce lost gear and mitigate impacts to marine wildlife. The Salish Sea is a better place because of all that Caroline gave during her lifetime.
The sadness we feel with the loss of our fabulous Caroline will be helped by doing as she did — celebrating, always, and being outside as much as possible. We will find her in every river, forest, and salty ocean breeze.
Caroline is survived by her beloved partner Walt Trisdale; her baby sister Mary Jane Gibson; her mother Judy Gibson; and an immense network of friends and colleagues around the world. She leaves a legacy of love, community, and kindness. A celebration of her life will be held at a date to be determined.
Donations may be made in Caroline’s memory through the Northwest Straits Foundation to the Caroline Gibson Scholarship in Marine Studies, which supports young marine conservationists just out of college with a twinkle in their eye and a drive to make a difference in marine conservation.