Michael Conner Gibson

August 16, 1967July 16, 2018
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Michael Conner Gibson, 50, of Knoxville, died on July 16, 2018. Michael was born on August 16, 1967 in Knoxville to William and Mary Gibson. After high school, Mike attended the University of Tennessee where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Communications and his Master's Degree in Journalism. Mike has written for numerous local periodicals in Sevierville, Knoxville, and Maryville, including The Daily Times and The Knoxville Mercury (formerly Metro Pulse) as well as for local blogs. In addition to his love for writing and blogging, Mike maintained a life-long joy in reading. Other interests included playing guitar, body building at the gym, and spending time with his dog, Max, who preceded him in death. Mike was jovial, very perceptive, very compassionate and generous. Mike leaves to cherish his memory his parents, Bill and Mary, of Knoxville; brother, John, of Griffin, Georgia; uncles, W. Harry Conner and wife, Annette, of Elgin, SC, and Dr. Edward Conner, and wife, Laura, of Macon, GA; aunt, Dr. Joan Gibson of Morgantown, WV; a number of cousins and many friends who will miss him dearly. A Memorial Service to Celebrate Mike's life will be held at 12 noon on Saturday, July 28, 2018 in the chapel of Berry Highland West, 9913 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville TN 37932. The family will receive friends from 11 am until service time. Burial will immediately follow the service in the cemetery of Berry Highland West. In lieu of flowers, contributions in honor of Mike may be made to the charity of your choice. Condolences may be shared with the family online at


  • Receiving of Friends Saturday, July 28, 2018
  • Visitation Saturday, July 28, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Saturday, July 28, 2018
  • Memorial Service Saturday, July 28, 2018
  • Committal Service Saturday, July 28, 2018

Michael Conner Gibson

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Bryan Martin

July 19, 2018

Grippy as some of us called him way back then was just an easy guy to be around. I remember my freshman year at UT he kind of took me under his wing and hung out with me at lunch, dinner, etc. I think we even pumped some iron together at the old Hyper building. I felt like such a small fish in huge pond and was very lonely at the time and a little self conscious. He spent time with me and lifted me up. He was a goalie too on our Karns high school soccer team and he played on our Knoxville men's league teams as well. I haven't seen him since the 80's but will always remember what a special person he was and pray for peace upon his family during this tough time.

Linda Albert

July 19, 2018

Mike and I worked together at The Daily Times and became close friends. He was a remarkable, talented writer, a man of compassion and integrity and incomparable wit. I looked on him as a little brother and thoroughly enjoyed our verbal sparring matches as well as all those times we bounced ideas off each other. He was, and will always be, a dear friend, and he will always be missed. May God surround each of his loved ones with comfort and the peace that passes all understanding. My prayers are with you all.

Lance Perry

July 18, 2018

Randy Henke and I were talking tonight about how much we will miss Michael. I knew him for 30+ years, but had not seen him is probably 15 years or so. Randy knew Michael for 40+ years and had seen Mike much more recently. We remember long talks sitting on our apartment couch, and Mike's uncanny wit. He seemed to be a pillar of strength each time we saw him.

This news saddens us both and Mike will be greatly missed.

Robbie and Kelcey Levering

July 18, 2018

I never saw Mike in passing. Inevitably, it turned into a 30+ minute discussion on new music or a book that I needed to read. If an article had his name attached to it, I was certain to read it. Unique, extremely intelligent, and gifted, Mike had a knack for sucking you in, be it an article or a conversation. Kelcey and I are both saddened by this loss. Rest in peace, my friend.

Kevin Crowe

July 18, 2018

I’ve always been jealous of Mike. He was stellar when writing about loud, aggressive music, but his treatment of many of Knoxville’s weirdest and least understood residents is what really made me jealous. I’m certain that Mike made me a better writer during my brief time at Metro Pulse. I still keep printouts of my favorite stories that he wrote, his early stuff in particular. I’m also certain that I no longer write because of people like Mike, because I quickly became aware that the few good pieces I’d ever written owed more to luck than talent.

Mike was immensely talented. He had the strange ability to use a high-dollar word without sounding pretentious, occasionally throwing out “admixture” or “peripatetic” in a short CD review. He loved wrestling, MMA and graphic novels. I firmly believe that he understood Cormac McCarthy better than most. I think he had a master’s degree in marketing, so he also understood evil better than most. And, perhaps most impressive, he was never boring. I’m sure everyone reading this knows how much he enjoyed being irreverent, but if you ever got a chance to see Mike Gibson interact with an animal—dogs most of all—then you know that, despite his gruff voice and dark humor, he was kind and gentle. True originality is rare, especially as we get older. I’ve never met anyone like Mike, not even close.

He was a great writer, sure, but he also had a savage ability to sniff out nonsense. And above all else, I admired his ceaseless curiosity. I’m so glad I got to know him, and I’m devastated that he’s gone.

Judy Blackstock

July 18, 2018

Thankful I saw Mike at the Women's March in January and shared news and a hug.

Marcus Fitzsimmons

July 18, 2018

I was able to pick on Mike for almost four years at The Daily Times, and he took it all with smile, be it I called him "Lee's man" for his favorite dinner from Lee's Chicken, "Krakatoa" for his jeans or some of the others. He leaves a hole in the paper family and he's missed.

Kristin Leu

July 18, 2018

I worked below Mikes apartment in Market square long ago. I would always enjoy seeing him stroll home from work and take his dog, Max out to potty. Both scored bacon every shift I worked. Max usually twinkled a little in the corridor in anticipation. I enjoyed serving Mike many dinners and always enjoyed hanging at the pub and talking about life.
Mike, I’ll always miss you and your little dog too!💔

Brian Conley

July 18, 2018


I was so saddened to hear the news of your passing. You were an amazing writer, but an even better person. Quick of wit and gentle of spirit, you were invariably kind to everyone lucky enough to cross your path.

Although I did not see you often over the past decade, it was always a happy occasion whenever my wife and I would run into you downtown. You would sit down with us and we would share a few laughs while "catching up." You were one of those rare people whose very presence made everyone feel better about themselves and about the world. You will be missed by many, my friend.

Thank you for being a part of my life.


Kristi Nelson

July 18, 2018

I worked with Mike at the Mountain Press. Even back then, at the beginning of his career, before his work for Metro Pulse, he wrote some of the best ledes I've ever read, ever -- and he just got better. He was a gifted writer with a unique perspective and a great sense of humor. We weren't close friends, but I was always glad to see him, and I would read anything he wrote. I admired his skills as well as his pertinacity, how again and again he kept coming back. I'm so sad that he is gone.