Ebbert True Webber (Bert)
Ebbert True (Bert) Webber
October 22, 1921- March 25, 2006
A memorial service has been held for Ebbert True (Bert) Webber, who died Saturday, March 25, 2006 at his home in Central Point surrounded by his loving family. Bert had been in failing health since suffering a stroke two years ago. His remains were interred at the Eagle Point National Cemetery with formal military honors.
Born October 22, 1921 at Edgewood Arsenal in Md. during his father's military service, Bert was the first-born of Matthew Ebbert Webber and Mary Kathryn True. His mother, died when he was six years old. Brother, Robert Matthew Webber survives in Ariz. The elder Webber married Una Burns and moved to San Francisco, Calif. with his family that later included half-brother, J. Rendall Webber III, deceased; half-sister, Jewell Webber Tuttle Wilson, deceased; and adopted sister, Connie Webber Knight of Ariz.
Following high school graduation, Bert joined the Army Signal Corps in September 1940. He was stationed in Kodiak, Alaska where he developed a love for photography. He transferred to the Army Air Corps Cadet Flying School and attended the University of Nevada at Reno and the Rankin Air Cadet School in Tulare, California. When he transferred back to the Army Signal Corps, his passion for photography took him to the Eastman School of Photography in New York. As an official Signal Corps photographer he was sent to Europe for the duration of the war. He was awarded a number of service ribbons and was honorably discharged on November 16, 1945.
Bert and Margie met as teenagers in San Francisco. Bert pursued the relationship after Margie's family moved to Seattle. They corresponded during the early years of WWII and were married July 9, 1944. Bert was assigned to duty in Europe and Margie returned to complete her training as a registered nurse. After the war, they made their home in Sedro-Woolley, Wash., where Bert set up a retail store as a commercial photographer with a photo-finishing shop to pay the bills. He was also a "stringer" for the Seattle PI, supplying both written and photo journalism of NW Washington State news. Times were hard in Sedro-Wooley, so Bert moved his family to Seattle where he worked for Remington Rand selling typewriters. He opened an office for that company in Lewiston, Idaho, was transferred to Spokane before he became seriously ill and was hospitalized at the Veteran's Administration Hospital. While recuperating, he attended Whitworth College, graduating with a double major in Journalism and Secondary Education. The family moved to Lake Oswego where Bert was employed as a school librarian and social studies teacher while earning a Master's degree in Library Science (research) from the University of Portland. He worked briefly as the librarian at Medford Senior High School before deciding to focus on a career in photojournalism, which became the most rewarding and productive period of his life.
During his time as a teacher, Bert became concerned over the lack of published works about more recent Northwestern history. He was commissioned by Oregon State University Press to write the book, Retaliation, Japanese Attacks and Allied Countermeasures on the Pacific coast in World War II, which was later republished as Silent Siege. Fascinated by Northwest history, Bert authored 86 non-fiction books on the subject, 67 of which are still in print and available from his company, Pacific Northwest Books, (www.pnwbooks.com) which his family will continue to manage. He was a frequent lecturer and radio show guest about the many aspects of his research and writings.
He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Marjorie Renfroe Webber; sons, Richard Ebbert Webber of Stratford, N.J., daughter Marymerle Webber Greenlaw of Cranford, N.J., son Dale Brien Webber of Portland, Ore., son, Lauren Thomas Webber of Bedford, Mass.; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
The Webbers have lived in the Rogue Valley for 37 years. Bert was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, a member of many professional organizations including the Friends of the Library, the American Legion, and was an enthusiastic member of the Southern Oregon Concert Band where he enjoyed playing the baritone horn. He will be sorely missed.
Memorial gifts may be given to: First Presbyterian Church, 85 South Holly St., Medford, OR 97501; Southern Oregon Concert Band, c/o Harry Kannasto, 1015 Park St., Ashland, OR 97520, or Whitworth College, 300 W. Hawthorne Rd., Spokane, WA 99218.