In Memory

Geoff Gilbert

Geoff Gilbert

Geoffrey Gilbert Obituary

Geoffrey Glenn Gilbert
March 19, 1944 - Nov. 12, 2023
Geoff died Sunday night, Nov. 12, 2023, with his best friend and wife of 55 years, Susan Gilbert, by his side. He was 79 years old. Besides his wife, Geoff is survived by his daughter, Whitney Freya; son, Joel Gilbert; sister, Barbara Marine, her two children; and three amazing grandchildren, Jordan, Riley and Mason. It was the grandchildren who prompted the move from Michigan to Portland in 2015.
Geoff was born in Cleveland, Ohio and moved to Birmingham, Mich., when he was 10. He attended the University of Michigan for undergraduate and law school, graduating with a JD degree in 1969. As he would often say, he was a U of M "lifer." Always fond of music, he joined the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club, serving as its president and a member of the smaller ensemble, the Friars. He was in the Glee Club for five years, culminating in a two-month concert tour around the world in the summer of 1968, a highlight for him for the rest of his life. He also was a barbershop singer in Chicago and later in Berrien County, Mich.
He and Susan, married in 1968, and moved to Chicago in 1969. Geoff joined the law firm of McBride Baker Wienke and Schlosser. He spent almost his entire career at the firm, that later became McBride Baker & Coles, eventually merging with Holland & Knight. Geoff was a litigator, Chair of the Litigation Committee and a member of the Executive Committee. After retiring from litigation, he became an administrative law judge for the City of Chicago.
Geoff was always interested in the plight of others and for many years did pro bono (essentially volunteer) work, in addition to his work for his firm. He initially represented conscientious objectors indicted for refusing induction into the Army during the Vietnam War. He worked as a volunteer attorney for the Federal Defender Panel and the ACLU. He was a part of the team that appealed the "Chicago Seven" conspiracy conviction. In 1973, he was asked to prepare a writ on behalf of the American Indian Movement (the Wounded Knee case). Later he served as a volunteer mediator for the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). After retirement, he continued to offer his legal expertise to those in need. Noteworthy, was the case of Ibrahim Parlak, a Turkish Kurd and popular restauranteur in Berrien County, who was threatened with deportation for years by the U.S. Government after 9/11.
Geoff was grateful for all the travel he and Susan were able to do over the years. Geoff visited all seven continents.
Geoff died of vascular dementia and Susan donated his body to OHSU for research. If you would like to support the research effort donate to the OHSU Brain Institute Research at
Please sign the online guest book at

Published by The Oregonian from Nov. 21 to Nov. 26, 2023.