Monday, February 23, 2015

Gilbert and The School of Practical Midwifery - 1976

If you trace the lineage of many of Portland's midwives, that line will wind its way back to The School of Practical Midwifery.  The school was operated by Gilbert Fulton for several years around 1976.   The women who attend the school became the first wave of a new gene ratio of midwives and would in turn, train many more midwives who in turn served as preceptors to others and on and on until this very day.

I for example, was taught by Teressa Shelly and I in turn was a preceptor to Heather, Gwen, Nora, Pamela, Patrice, Joan, Lori, Susan, Shelia , Laura an many, many others.  They in turn world with other new midwives who have since worked with still more midwifery students.  

This passing down is how we as  midwives create birth communities.  We step aside an swatch as a new midwife catches her first baby, even when we love to catch them ourselves.  We do this because it is sacred to the way we have chosen to help women give birth.  

In 1976, this lineage had nearly died.  It came so close.  In our community, several people helped that lineage to grow strong again.   I know there are many stories of his school.  It did not last very long but long enough to start the process of passing down the training from one pair of hands to another.  

Gilbert moved to Utah.  I found his obituary today.  He had many children and grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.  At the end, he was a bus driver.  Thank you Gilbert for the chain you began.  I would love to know who taught you.   If you have pictures or stories I sou deb happy to share them here.

Here is his obituary:


AKA David Living-Stone
AKA Henry Krakowski Jr
AKA David Living-Stone
AKA Henry Krakowski JrGilbert A. Fulton Jr., age 67, passed on peacefully in his home on May 25, 1999.
He was born Feb. 27, 1932 in Cleveland, Ohio. He married Elizabeth Ann Bjorkman (Richards,) Feb. 5th, 1970.
A man of many gifts and talents: As a Naturopathic Physician, he delivered over 1,000 babies at home. He established the Northwestern School of Practical Midwifery in 1976 in Portland, Oregon. He did tremendous research into L.D.S. Church History resulting in the publication of numerous books on the subject. He was also a veteran of the Korean War.
His last few years were spent driving bus for UTA and sharing joy and "Happy Stones" with whomever he felt impressed. Every day was a "Happy Day" right to the end.
He is survived by 28 children, 66 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Family Services will be held Monday, May 31, at 3 p.m. at the home of Joseph Fulton, 4334 South Beechwood Rd, in Taylorsville. Contact Joseph or Julie at 261-3836 for further info.

1 comment:

  1. Gilbert Fulton ND, was the person who assisted in my first of four home births in December of 1975. I remember when he went on to open the School of Midwifery. I was looking for someone to attend my birth and found him in an add in an "underground newspaper" in Portland (1975). He was also involved at NCNM when it was in an old building in downtown Portland. We went there for all of our medical care.

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