Support Local Journalism!        

Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Electrical engineering professor at the University of Portland counts the ways we can remember the business leader behind Columbia Sportswear.

COURTESY PHOTO: GREATER PORTLAND INC. - Gert Boyle became an iconic Portland business leader, thanks to her role at Columbia Sportswear. A celebration of life is set for Thursday.German-born American businesswoman Gertrude Boyle, known as "One Tough Mother" as the visionary and the face of the billion-dollar Columbia Sportswear Co., died on Nov. 3 in Portland. She was 95 years old. I constructed this collection of numerical curiosities in her honor:

1. If Nos. 1 to 26 are assigned to letters A to Z, the sum of the letter numbers of Boyle equals 59 and the reverse of 59 is 95, the age Boyle died.AZIZ INAN

2. Furthermore, there are 59 days total between Nov. 3 and the end of each year.

3. Moreover, the sum of the digits of 11/3/2019, the day Boyle died, equals 17 and the 17th prime number is also 59.

4. Additionally, if the date 11/3/2019 is split, without forward slashes, as 113 and 2019, and if 2019 is further split into two numbers consisting of its even- and odd-numbered digits as 21 and 09, 21 plus 09 equals 30 and the 30th prime number is 113.

5. Boyle died on 11/3 this year and twice the product of 11 and 3 equals 66 and the 66th day of 1924, a leap year, is Boyle's birthday, 3/6/1924.

6. Also, Boyle died on 11/3/19 and twice the sum of 11, 3, and 19 also yields 66.

7. Boyle died on the 307th day of 2019 and 307 is the 63rd prime number and 63 interpreted as 6/3 coincides with Boyle's birthdate, 6 March, or 6/3, as it would be represented in her country of birth.

8. At 13, Gertrude and her Jewish family fled Germany for the United States in 1937 and settled in Portland. If 1937 is split as 19 and 37, 19 times 37 equals 703 and 703 is the reverse of 307.

9. Boyle's 13th birthday, 6 March 1937, occurred on the 65th day of 1937. Interestingly, 65 equals 5 times 13. Additionally, the reverse of 65, namely 56, equals the sum of 19 and 37.

10. 1937 equals 13 times 149 and 13 and 149 are the 6th and 35th prime numbers. Interestingly, 6 and 35 add up to 41 and 41 is the 13th prime number. Moreover, the product of the digits of 149 equals 36, Boyle's birthdate, March 6 (3/6).

11. Boyle died on 11/03 and the sum of the reverses of 11 and 03, namely 11 and 30, equals 41, too.

12. Boyle's birth year 1924 equals 13 times 148. The sum of the digits of 148 also equals 13. Additionally, the prime factors of 148, namely 2 and 37, are the first and 12th prime numbers and 1 and 12 add up to 13. Further, 148 = 2 x 2 x 37 and the sum of these prime multipliers equals 41, the 13th prime number.

13. Lastly, "Gertrude Boyle" contains 13 letters.

As an aside, my dad, who also was born in 1924 and passed away last December, also was from Boyle's generation. He had a coat made by Columbia Sportswear and he enjoyed wearing it on a regular basis for a long time until his death.

Thanks for all your contributions to our lives, Gertrude Boyle. I hope you rest in peace. Amen.

Aziz Inan is a professor teaching in the electrical engineering program of the Donald P. Shiley School of Engineering at University of Portland and he can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Celebration of life

A celebration of the life of Columbia Sportswear Co. Chairwoman Gert Boyle will be begin at 10 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 5, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 300 N. Winning Way, Portland. Family and friends of the Boyles, as well as Columbia Sportswear employees, are welcome to attend. Boyle died Nov. 3. The ceremony will be live streamed at

You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.

Have a thought or opinion on the news of the day? Get on your soapbox and share your opinions with the world. Send us a Letter to the Editor!

Go to top