Ethel Gobbato
Ethel Gobbato
Ethel Gobbato
Ethel Gobbato
Ethel Gobbato
Ethel Gobbato

Obituary of Ethel L Gobbato

Ethel Louise Gobbato (Noni to her family and many friends), 91 of Lynden,WA., passed away at PeaceHealth, Bellingham WA on February 8, 2021. She passed away from complications of aspiration pneumonia, (not Covid). She would be the first to tell you that she still had more living to do (she had such a zest for life), but that was not to be. Ethel Louise Freeman Gobbato was born November 1, 1929 in Blaine, Washington. She was the fifth of six children born to Lewis Freeman and Bessie Allen Freeman. On her mother’s side of the family she was descended from homesteaders who came from Tennessee to the Washington Territory. On her father’s side was descended from Icelandic immigrants who settled in Washington during the early days of its statehood. Ethel attended Blaine School where she met her future husband Giulio Gobbato. She graduated in 1947 and attended Bellingham Business school before marrying Giulio September 10, 1949. They moved to Pullman, WA. where Giulio attended veterinary school at Washington State University, and she provided support for their new family, working for the phone company and waitressing part time. After graduation from Vet school, they moved back to Whatcom County and eventually they settled in Sumas, WA, where they built their veterinarian practice, built their dream home and raised their family. The business flourished at the hands of a very competent veterinarian and with Noni acting as receptionist, head book keeper and clinic assistant. Her family often marveled at her as she assisted our dad in surgery while almost simultaneously preparing another great family meal. Though, it should be noted, the two events did not happen in the same room. Noni’s strong faith and commitment to help others, led to a long history of volunteering. She spent numerous hours at the Bellingham blood bank, at Saint Peters food bank, the living desert in Palm desert. Her favorite volunteer experience was an underprivileged grade school in Mecca, CA reading with ESL students. She recently moved to Meadow Greens, in Lynden, WA., where she quickly became an unofficial ambassador, always looking in on her neighbors to encourage them to join her in on a walk, a card game or happy hour. She always had a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face. Our mother lived a long and productive life filled with purpose, faith and service. Noni is preceded in death by Giulio Gobbato, her husband of 54 years, Adam Carlberg, her 22-year-old grandson and Cairo Salvatierra, her son-in law (Gail). She is also preceded in death by four of her siblings; Alan Freeman, Vernon (babe) Freeman, Gloria Freeman Bergman, Nora Freeman Atwood). Noni leaves behind her children and their spouses; Gregory Gobbato, Gary Gobbato, (Nancy), Gail, Gobbato Salvatierra, (Ron Davis), Gina Gobbato Wassenaar, as well as her only surviving sibling, Marilyn Freeman Mitchell. She also left behind 6 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren whom she loved very much: Matt (Jacque) Gobbato, Mike (Kailey) Gobbato, Stephanie (Carlberg) and Jon Kooistra, Cairo Salvatierra, and Nicolas Salvatierra. Great grandchildren include, Antonio and Olivia Gobbato (Matt & Jacque) and Axel, Luke, Caitlyn & Abigail Kooistra (Jon & Stephanie). Ethel also left behind too many wonderful nieces and nephews to mention. Even though she is no longer physically with us, Noni remains the heart and soul of our family. She is our hero and our inspiration. A dear friend described her as being one of those “shiny” people; a person who always made others feel better. Her family saw her as the most capable, caring and generous person they will ever know. She would often take people into her home that needed a little help or a warm place to stay for a few nights. She had a passion for living every day to the fullest, and she was a friend to everyone. As much as we would love to gather to celebrate her life, it just isn't safe to do so at this time. We hope that we will be able to do so in the summer or fall. Memorials may be given to a charity of your choice, as her list of charities was extensive. Our family extends our sincere thanks to all of the wonderful doctors and nurses who provide such wonderful care to our Mom.
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