George Gablehouse Memorial Scholarship
George Gablehouse grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in Selah, Washington, with four brothers and an alcoholic father. His mother walked away when he was two years old. The family lived in tents in the orchards for a period of time, and then in a one room garage.
From this humble and harsh childhood, this small boy grew into a man, who somewhere along the way realized that education, athletics and hard work were the keys to success. George Gablehouse was honored for his outstanding career as an athlete, administrator, and inspirational coach. His records as a coach were distinguished, but his impact on his community and the students he mentored was even more extraordinary.
After an impressive college basketball career at Eastern Washington University, he was later inducted into their Hall of Fame for recognition as an individual athlete and a team member. George coached in Omak and Marysville, Washington before moving to Centralia. George Gablehouse spent twenty years as Athletic Director and head basketball and baseball coach at Centralia College. In 1989 he was inducted into the Northwest Athletic Director’s Hall of Fame. His jersey, No. 26, hangs in the Hall of Fame at Centralia College. This entryway to the gymnasium has been dedicated to him.
Education, athletics and family were George’s passions. He was well known for quietly lending a helping hand to students in need. He raised three children of his own, but it was not unusual to have one or two extras at the house who needed a little extra from the coach, or a good home cooked meal from his wife Barbara.
In 1983 George’s daughter went to work at W. F. West. Thus began George’s new role as number one fan and supporter of the Chehalis Bearcats. He proudly wore his Bearcat jacket everywhere he went. When his son’s best friend was named head baseball coach for the Cats, he added the Bearcat baseball hat to his daily wardrobe. George had two grandchildren and one great grandchild graduate from W. F. West. All three kids were athletes. They were each confident that when they were playing, they could look up in the stands and there would be Grandpa George, wearing his crimson and gray and cheering them on!
George died in August of 2014, and it was his wish that no memorial service be held. Instead, he wished that the money that would have been spent, be given to a young Bearcat for his or her education. To George Gablehouse, that was the most important thing, helping another student get their education to secure their future.