- Written by Ben Jacklet
- Category: Mountain Characters
- Published: April 21, 2016
- Last Updated: April 28, 2016
Editorial Update, April 28, 2016: A memorial for Joe Schuberg has been scheduled for Saturday, May 14th at 2 pm at the Cascade Ski Club Lodge in Government Camp.
Joe Schuberg, the high-energy lodge manager at Cascade Ski Club on Mount Hood, died from a heart attack while riding his bicycle April 18. He was 55.
Joe was loved for his positive attitude, his dedication to running a clean and efficient lodge, and his sense of humor. He was a large, somewhat imposing man, and a stickler for rules, but he was also warm-hearted and generous in how he treated friends and the Cascade community. He would routinely get up at 5:30 am in the peak of the ski season to make coffee and breakfast for the racers, climbers, snowboarders, skiers and families who stay at Cascade in winter. He possessed a rare ability to crank out huge volumes of food for hungry people while cracking jokes and telling stories to keep spirits high. He was also a powerful force for order in Government Camp, a town with a limited police presence.
"His wrestling physique dissuaded bad dudes," wrote Cascade Board Member Richard Rizk in a tribute. "Joe never laid a hand on anyone...he simply crossed his arms. Troublemakers scurried away like rats in light."
Lloyd Musser of the Mt. Hood Museum in Govy recalled that staffers working alone on quiet days would call up Joe to let him know when a creepy guy was hanging around the museum. "The creep soon moved on after Joe showed up."
Joe grew up in Iowa, where his father was an executive with John Deere. He traveled extensively in Asia managing health clubs before settling down with his wife Micor on Mount Hood. He served as manager of the Ram's Head Bar at Timberline and came to Cascade Ski Club & Lodge with an impressive list of endorsements including a referral from Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Joe took over management of the lodge at an important time of transition. Cascade had just endured an embezzlement scandal and was battling with Kirk Hanna and Skibowl over a property dispute. Joe was tasked with restoring order and welcoming new members, and he definitely accomplished both goals. For a large building packed with bunk beds and filled with people constantly coming and going, Cascade is a remarkably safe and secure place with a strong sense of community. This is thanks in large part to Joe's work ethic and strong presence. Replacing him will be a challenge.
News of Joe's death has brought sadness to family and friends, and to the many people who knew him on the mountain and associated Cascade with Big Joe. "I openly cried the minute I read the news," said Cascade member Laura Whitehorn. "I'm so tremendously sad for his wife and family. He was truly a gift to us."
"He wasn't only our lodge manager, but also a good friend," said Cascade President John Loseth. "Joe has been the fabric and cornerstone of our lodge for many years and he will be deeply missed by all of us."
"My family is devastated and our hearts are broken," Joe's sister Carol wrote on Facebook.
Joe Schuberg is survived by his wife Micor, his brothers Tom and Paul, his sister Carol and his mother Barbara.
RIP Joe. You will be missed and remembered.
A memorial has been scheduled for Saturday, May 14th at 2 pm at the Cascade Ski Club Lodge in Government Camp on Mount Hood.