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Robert E Gilpin

May 31, 1958 - June 12, 2021

Robert Edward Gilpin of Portland, Oregon

On the morning of June 12, 2021, Robert died peacefully in his sleep of complications from kidney disease in Portland, Oregon. He was 63 years old. Robert was born in Santa Monica, CA on May 31, 1958 at 2:40 a.m. to Robert David Gilpin and Wanda Joy Gilpin.

After living in California for a few years, Robert moved with his family to Houston, Texas where his father, an aerospace engineer, worked with NASA at the Johnson Space Center. Later the family moved to Montana, where his mother was raised. Robert spent the majority of his childhood into his teenage years in Montana. When he was 13 he won a sports award in the local Punt, Pass, and Kick competition. He also excelled at track in junior high school. He was an outdoorsy youth, spending a summer in Glacier National Park in Montana and at Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming working for the Youth Conservation Corps. Robert was in the National Honor Society in high school, graduating from Billings West High in 1976.

He studied English, with a Minor in Art, at Montana State University (MSU) – Billings and finished credits through Portland State University to receive his MSU English degree. After school, Robert grew to become a talented artist and writer, including penning whimsical letters to the editor and sharing poems at various poetry readings. As a celebrated artist, he exhibited paintings in numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout the country, including New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Atlanta, Nashville, Falls Church, VA and many Portland spaces including PDX Contemporary Art’s Window Project, Gallery 500, Vita Gallery, Mark Woolley Gallery, Blackfish Gallery, and Nationale Gallery.

Robert’s friends meant a lot to him and he enjoyed his time with them. They accompanied him in his lifetime pursuit of the arts, including visiting national and regional art galleries and museums, watching foreign and classic films, attending jazz and rock concerts, and sports events.

Robert was predeceased by his father Robert David Gilpin and his beloved cat Holden. He is survived by his mother Wanda Joy Gilpin, his brother Dean Rush Gilpin, and his sister Donna Joy Byrne.

In lieu of flowers or gifts to the family, a donation in Robert’s name can be made to one of his favorite charities: St. Joseph’s Indian School, Home | St. Joseph’s Indian School (


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