Gert Boyle’s celebration of life set for December 5


The iconic Columbia Sportswear Company chairwoman was 95

Gert Boyle in an undated photo released the day she died, November 3, 2019. She was 95 (Business Wire)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A celebration of life for Gert Boyle, the legendary and iconic businesswoman who led Columbia Sportswear for decades, will be held December 5, company officials announced.

The 95-year-old who became synonymous with her “One Tough Mother” advertising campaign, died November 3.

The celebration of her life will be held at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum beginning at 10 a.m. that Thursday. Officials said they expect about 5000 “family, friends and employees of Columbia Sportswear” to attend.

Boyle fled Nazi Germany as a child with her parents. Her father started the Columbia hat company here in Portland in 1938. Her husband later took over, but when he died suddenly, she and her son Tim, who was a college student at the time, decided not to sell the floundering business. Instead, she kept it going, and built it into the multi-billion dollar company it is today.

When asked how she made it work, Boyle’s son responded, “Well, I think it was really about determination, guts, and saying we’re not going to not win.”

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