On Oct. 14, 2013, Ned J. Gibowski moved onto an even better place, where he is resting in peace.
Ned was born to Joseph and Margaret Hjelmsted Gibowski on Nov. 20, 1947, in Minneapolis, Minn. He attended elementary school in Richfield, Minn., and graduated from Richfield High in 1966. In 1968, he graduated from Dunwoody Institute with a degree in air conditioning engineering and design.
Growing up, Ned cut his own swath on motorcycles and in sports cars, but he really came into his own on skis. Skiing at Buck Hill, he developed a style that was deliberate yet smooth and relaxed, breaking many Kneissls in the process. His technique became superb. Ned served on volunteer ski patrol, pro patrol, and as assistant ski school director. He experimented with inverted aerials, and by 1967 he was performing front flips on weekends, first in pike position, then in full layout.
Ned also worked three seasons outside of Cooke City, Mont., at some of the first summer ski camps on the Beartooth Plateau. It was at this time that Ned started his career in the ski services business. Wielding a Yankee screwdriver, he worked for Sports Services, performing service work for 20-some retail outlets in the Twin Cities.
In 1976, Ned moved to Idaho to work on his fly-fishing. He became a proud partner and proprietor of Pioneer Park, a trailer resort in Hailey. He started a retail career at Sturtevants, fulfilling several functions there. He briefly worked at Silver Creek Outfitters and at L.L. Greens Hardware, as well, settling at Chateau Drug, where he remained until he was slowed by illness.
A true jack-of-all trades, Ned bought the cheapest house he could find and rescued it from ruin. He embellished it with finely crafted arched glass paneled doors and cabinets. He filled it with fishing art, fine furniture, historic photographs and ski memorabilia. His home became a museum. His fly-tying room became a shrine.
Ned was a modest man who lived a life of dignity and order. He taught us a lot in his final days. He was a loyal friend with a good story to tell. He will be fondly remembered and sorely missed on the slopes and on the water.
Ned was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Margaret. He is survived by a cousin, David (Linda) Hjelmstad, of Burnsville, Minn.
We will celebrate Ned’s life at 4 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2013, what would have been his 66th birthday, at 88 Martin Lane, Bellevue, Idaho.
Donations in Ned’s name can be made to Rotarun Ski Area, P.O. Box 2083, Hailey, ID 83333