Harry J. Gibson Sr.
January 20, 1938 – March 23, 2020
Harry J. Gibson, Sr. passed away March 23, 2020 at the age of 82. He is survived by the love of his life, Elaine C. Gibson; his daughter, Martha Anderson (Bryan) of Apex, NC; his son H. J. “Jay” Gibson, Jr. (Jill) of Apex, NC; and his beloved grandsons, Trey, Colby, Andrew, William, and Jake. Harry was born on January 20, 1938 to Onan Edward Gibson and Marjorie Jackson Gibson in Gibson, NC, both of whom preceded him in death. He is also survived by 3 sisters, Lois Hahn (Al), Carol Halldorson (Goose), and Martha Gibson (Skip); a sister-in-law, Sheri Carter, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and their children.
Harry graduated from Laurinburg High School and then attended NC State University, majoring in Engineering. He graduated from NC State in January 1962 and remained a proud, lifelong Wolfpack fan, supporting and rooting for NC State’s teams, most especially football and basketball. After graduation from NC State University, he accepted employment with the United States Soil Conservation Service, now NRCS. He served the agency in various capacities for over 42 years, culminating as the State Conservation Engineer. He enjoyed the challenges of environmental engineering work, authoring several peer-reviewed publications which won national acclaim. He also enjoyed the many friends he made through his career and working with a wide variety of people. He was proud to be a licensed Professional Engineer and licensed Professional Land Surveyor. His work benefitted many communities, from agricultural to urban, and continues to be enjoyed today through projects such as the Lake Crabtree impoundment.
Harry was a man of deep faith, active in Methodist churches in several communities across North Carolina, fully engaging in church affairs and supporting his faith community wherever he lived. He was currently a member of the Ellis Bland Sunday School class at First United Methodist Church of Cary, NC, and had been active in class affairs until health issues slowed him in recent years. He also gave generously of his time to the communities in which he had lived, serving as an officer of many civic organizations including the Jaycees, Methodist Men, Lions Club, Holmes High School Band Parents, and numerous other organizations.
Perhaps most notable was his deep and abiding love for his wife, Elaine. They were married for over 58 years and were an inseparable couple for over 61 years, having first met while he was an engineering student and she was a nursing student. Harry was an extremely generous and loving father to his children and their spouses, and dearly loved being a special “Pops” aka “Pop-pop” to his grandsons. He was keenly interested in and a strong supporter of whatever pursuits his grandsons undertook from sports, Scouts, and school activities in their younger years to their hobbies, careers, and lives now as young adults. Visiting with his grandsons, “his boys”, whether by phone or in person was always a highlight of his day and he remained fully engaged with them until he passed.
Harry’s smile, his kind spirit, the twinkle in his eyes, his humor and quick wit will be sorely missed by his family, friends, and all who had the good fortune to know him. Yet, even as we miss him, we will be forever thankful for the blessing of having had him in our lives for these many years.
A private family graveside service was held at 11:00 am on Thursday, March 26, 2020. A public Celebration of Life for Harry will be held at a future date.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, a memorial donation honoring Harry be made to one of the following charities: USO of North Carolina, 600 Airport Blvd, Suite 200, Morrisville, NC 27560; First United Methodist Church of Cary, NC, 117 S. Academy St., Cary, NC, 27511; or St. Jude Children’s Hospital c/o ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN, 38105.
- A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date due to current events and gathering restrictions.
Harry J. Gibson Sr.
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April 1, 2020
In 1962, I was a Civil Engineering Tech with the USDA Soil Conservation Service in Edenton, NC Field Office. While detailed to the watershed office in Aulander, NC, I met Harry. While surveying and construction of two watershed projects, Ahoskie and Cutawhiskie Creek Watersheds, Harry was one of my supervisors. I was new and Harry took me under his wing and taught me a lot about engineering procedures. Throughout my 34 years, I had the privilege of working with Harry on several occasions. Harry was one of the best supervisors I every had, always helpful, courteous. I had the most respect for him. I will always cherish our friendship.
Harry will be missed by many, my prayers go out to Elaine, Jay and Martha and the entire Gibson Family
Winston Salem, NC
March 30, 2020
I worked for years with Harry and he was always cordial, polite, helpful, knowledgeable and a credit to our agency. It was a privilege to have known him. My condolences to you, his family! Clara Raynor, Retired Personnel Officer
March 29, 2020
Martha and Family, my mother shared with me that she had seen your Dad's obituary in the news paper today. And I wanted to share my memory of you family. Living in Morgan Park neighborhood in Edenton with you throughout childhood, I will never forget your Dad's garden and that large bell that your mother rang when it was time for the Gibson's to come home for dinner. In fact, my mother also told us to come on home when your mother rang that bell! Many years later, we also got a small bell which we still keep in the kitchen and ring when dinner is ready. Thanks to the Gibsons for a great idea.
Years later, it was such a pleasure to see your parents at the Raleigh Wesley Foundation events. We had a great neighborhood of kids to play with, didn't we? If there were ever a Morgan Park reunion, you could count me IN.
I am sorry for your lose, your Dad was a wonderful father. Go Wolfpack!
March 26, 2020
Harry was my only brother and since my young years he and I shared many interests. I was 8 years younger and always loved when he would let me ride in our farm truck with him to the country store . Getting cold cokes on hot summer days was special! He was great at calling for birthdays and just to check up on how I was going through the years.
The night before his passing we had a phone conversation about tomatoes! What a happy last memory.
I will miss my big brother.