Gerald Carl Gibbons
December 10, 1942 – February 8, 2020
OBITUARY OF GERALD “JERRY” CARL GIBBONS WRITTEN IN PART USING HIS OWN WORDS FROM ‘A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH’ page written approx. 1999 & A FATHER'S LEGACY page started 2005 & HIS FACEBOOK PROFILE WRITTEN 2008): Gerald Carl Gibbons went home to Jesus suddenly and unexpectedly on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 10:19pm while in Kaweah Delta Hospital in Visalia, CA. Jerry experienced severe pain since the beginning of the year - going in and out of the hospital. Saturday morning he finally got biopsy results – cancer had spread into most of his body - beyond treatment. By Saturday night, Jerry was gone. He was 77. He leaves behind his wife, Carol Gibbons. He is survived by his three children: daughter Heather E (Gibbons) Guerrero and her children (his grandchildren) Stephanie and Jacob, daughter Melanie M (Gibbons) Guzman along with her husband Emilio & their children (his grandchildren) Sophia and Madeline, and his son Joseph E Gibbons and his wife Hope. All 3 of his children reside in Southern CA. Also are his step-children Adam with his wife Evelyn and their children Devon & Julianne, her daughter Tamara Gerbrandt, Jessica Gocke and her husband Chris along with their children Luke and Grace, as well as his 2 remaining siblings, Roy Patrick ‘Pat’ Gibbons of Anaheim born 3/17/1939, 1110 First Ave West, Oskaloosa, IA, and Flora Estella (Gibbons) Nichols of Fort Mojave, AZ born 9/27/1944 South Gate, CA. He is preceded in death by his siblings: Phyllis Maxine (Gibbons) Diskin born 4/3/1929 Oskaloosa, IA / Harry Lloyd Gibbons born 5/7/1932 - 1103 High Ave West, Oskaloosa, IA, Rex Lee Gibbons born 4/11/1934 Oskaloosa, IA. Soon after arriving in CA when his family traveled from Oskaloosa, IA, Jerry was born on 12/10/1942 in Compton Rural, - 108th Street, south side between Alameda Ave. and Watts Ave. in the White Front Courts (similar to individual cabins), Los Angeles County to parents Paul Rexford Gibbons born 6/16/1899 in Oskaloosa, Iowa - just west of town on the Knoxville Road, across from Redman's pasture (now across from a large communications tower) and Virginia Helene (Miller) Gibbons born 6/12/1907 in Oskaloosa, Iowa - 900 block of C Ave. West - south side (not there now) both now deceased. They lived in South Gate, CA. PATERNAL GRANDPARENTS: Joseph Melvin Gibbons B. 3/18/1858 Oskaloosa, IA Catherine Logue B. 2/9/1868 Oskaloosa, IA, MATERNAL GRANDPARENTS: John Adam Noah Miller B. 1/5/1855, Spring Mills, PA Charity Elizabeth Miller, born 6/1/1866 West Lafayette Twp., Coshocton County, Ohio. Jerry was named after a good friend of the family, Gerald DeFriend, from Oskaloosa, IA. and also named after his dad's only sibling, Francis Carl Gibbons who went by ‘Car’.
“Always a studious youth, given to reading stacks of books, writing romantic song lyrics and drawing pictures of rocket ships blasting through space, he followed family tradition by enlisting in military services as soon as he came of age. Joining the Navy and serving as an electronic technician maintaining radar bombing systems in the early days of the Vietnam War. Then followed a career in the telephone company that included some supervisory positions, computer programming and engineering (like a favorite comic strip character “Dilbert”). A special assignment was as an instructor of mostly young Native American adults in conjunction with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. That program included adult basic education and job-related education specific to the future job assignments of each class group of students. The success of that program was remembered as a particularly shining achievement in a twenty-seven-year career. Service to his fellow man in actual application was in real evidence there. The result of his efforts had some real, positive effect on scores of lives as people with often limited opportunity entered companies offering good jobs, good careers. Their appreciation of his efforts was a source of warmth and pride through the years.”
FORMER MARRIAGES: Wife #1 Katherine Louise Reed of Maywood, CA / Wife #2 Kathleen Louise O'Kelley of Rocklin, CA
MY FAVORITE: SPORT: Football; Women's Olympic Gymnastics / BOOK: Bible LEISURE ACTIVITY: Watching TV, Hobbies (Photography, videography, genealogy, music, gardening) / DESSERT: Pie (apple, pumpkin) / AUTHOR: No clear favorite (Baldacci - e.g. Absolute Power; James Kjelgaard - e.g. Big Red; Josh McDowell - e.g. He Walked Among Us; Fletcher Knebel - e.g. Seven Days In May; Martin Cruz Smith - e.g. Gorky Park; John Grisham - e. g. The Pelican Brief; Tom Clancy - e.g. Red Storm Rising; Emily Bronte - e.g. Wuthering Heights; Charles Dickens - e.g. A Tale of Two Cities; Mario Puzo - e.g. The Godfather; Mark Twain - e.g. Tom Sawyer; Robert Frost - e.g. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening; Jack London - e.g. Call of the Wild; Alfred E. Van Vogt - e.g. Slan; Robert A. Heinlein - e.g. Stranger in a Strange Land; Clifford D. Simak - e.g. A Choice of Gods) / BIBLE VERSE: EPH 2:8-11 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one may boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. NIV / HYMN OR SONG: How Great Thou Art - Especially sung by George Beverly Shea or Carrie Underwood / VACATION SPOT: Morro Bay followed by Yosemite Valley and Tioga Pass / FOOD: Mexican / SPORTS TEAM: Brooklyn Dodgers
ABOUT JERRY: “California kid till 6, ‘Osky’, IA kid till almost 14 (my formative years), back to South Gate through high school (Southgate High School, South Gate CA). US Navy as Aviation Fire Control Technician Petty Officer 2nd Class until I turned 21. Served on Guam; the Philippine Islands; Japan; Whidbey Island, Washington; and aboard the USS Ranger (an aircraft carrier, CV-61) in the west Pacific during the Vietnam War. I then worked at a couple of misc. jobs then found work with Pacific Telephone in Oceanside in northern San Diego County. Worked in craft jobs 3 years while attending San Marcos College, San Marcos, CA. Promoted to computer programmer then various other titles ending up in Network Engineering and Planning for the last decade-plus. Retired after 27 years at age 49 in 1992. I was married 3 times! Had my three great kids with my first wife. I'm now married to Carol. Life is generally easier these days than it has been. Enjoy my family very much. My photography hobby has grown over the years. Digital equipment sure makes weddings and such easier. I sort of golf sometimes. I garden a lot. Spent some years in genealogical research. Managed to trace various family lines back pretty far before handing the task off to a cousin who was able to visit the east coast and go even farther. My favorite ancestor: Christian Miller, my third Great-Grandfather. He was a Private (one of 8 such grades at that time) in the Revolutionary War, First Pennsylvania Volunteers under Colonel, then General, Anthony "Mad Anthony" Wayne. Wayne was with Gen'l Washington his whole time, so everywhere you hear Washington was, so was Christian. Easy to find books on Washington and Wayne to see what he was up to (Brandywine, Germantown, Paoli Forest, crossing the Delaware, Valley Forge, Stony Point, all that. In my direct line, most generations served and all were enlisted men. My three older brothers and I all served honorably during the 50s and 60s with one making a career of the Marines retiring in the 70s as a Gunnery Seargent. One brother's grandson recently graduated from Annapolis where he distinguished himself and was made a Battalion Commander. He chose to accept a commission in the US Marines and has served in Iraq already. Our first officer and we're really proud of him (see 2 pics of him being saluted by old former enlisted men in my photos)! My three kids have all married, two have had two children each. All are good, decent folks who have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior (praise God!) (before me, by the way - I caromed around until July 2, 1989, before making my decision - the Mount Everest of decisions with all others being grains of sand in comparison). It's a wonderful thing to KNOW where you're going when you die and are looking at eternity SOMEWHERE.” I accepted Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior at Melodyland Christian Church in Anaheim, CA FAVORITE QUOTES: For it is by GRACE you are saved not works,...lest any man should boast" Took me a long time to figure out that eternity is for everybody (SOMEwhere), and the only path to Heaven is through believing in Jesus as your Savior, admitting you're just a sinner who has only ONE hope, the forgiveness of your sins made possible by Jesus' death on the cross in ritual sacrifice for the remission of all the sins of all the people for all time who would ever trust in Him for their salvation. Jesus and His teachings are certainly not ALL that I'm about, it's just that He's the only really important thing in my life in the long view. Again, eternity is for everyone, and it is so crucial that we all find out what we need to know and make a decision during our so brief time here so that our forever is in the only place of permanent reward and not unending punishment.
POLITICAL VIEWS: Conservative
Jerry managed to visit 43 of the 50 U.S. states and lived in California, Iowa, Washington and New Jersey (not including overseas military life). In more recent years, having settled into a church he enjoyed and found spiritual enrichment and growth in, he briefly joined a men’s choir group through a fellow church member and he actively served in the church as a Deacon and wherever asked to serve. He enjoyed attending small groups and the men’s group bible study. Additionally, he purposed himself to drive often to Southern California to visit with his children and grandchildren and kept up communications with siblings and extended family members because family was always a priority for him. He shared his faith gently, honestly and without regret even into his last days in the hospital with the nurses. He was a Beloved Father, Loving Husband, Special “Grampa”, Knowledgeable Teacher, Chief of Grammar Police, A best friend, Navy Vet, Helper, Choir Singer, Brother, Son, Movie Pal, Storyteller Extraordinaire!, Listener, Advisor, Deep thinker, Public Speaker, Adventurer, Legacy Leaver, Giver, Card-player, Man of dry humor and laughter, Best Hugger Ever, Bridger of family relationships, Genealogist, A Child of the Most High God who accepted Jesus Christ into his whole heart later in life than most other people & then cherished every minute of having a relationship with Him. He will be missed by so many! We are certain God has said to him, “Well done good and faithful servant.” just as he always looked forward to.
His remains were cremated and A CELEBRATION OF LIFE is planned for Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 2:00 pm at his church: The Fountain, 1023 N. Chinowth, Visalia, CA Ceremonies presented by Veterans including gun salute and color guard. Appetizers to follow served by the church.
♡ ALL ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND & you need not wear black. This is a celebration. ♡
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to his church The Fountain – Log on to https://thefountaincc.org/ & scroll down on the lower left. Click the large blue dot with a white symbol on it to donate or bring a check to the church (note the memo: playground restoration fund honoring Jerry Gibbons) OR donate to Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse – Operation Christmas Child of which Jerry supported. https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/the-greatest-journey/?utm_source=Ggl&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=m_YGGJ-B20V&utm_content=TGJad&gclid=CjwKCAiA1rPyBRAREiwA1UIy8IIetTcjBhDF9zE4Unlh69zgkSamKA0WllRvcbEHUtAb364UuCMjQBoCwaoQAvD_BwE
Click the gold link marked GIVE.
We would love for everyone to leave a note or story here on the Miller Chapel website in his memory.
Arrangements entrusted to Miller Memorial Chapel, 1120 W. Goshen Avenue, Visalia, CA 93291
Celebration of Life Service
1023 N. Chinowth
Gerald Carl Gibbons
February 25, 2020
One Sunday afternoon I was late leaving the church (The Fountain) where I serve as music minister. As I exited by a side door, there was a man standing there with his adult daughter. He introduced himself as Jerry Gibbons and explained that he was looking for a church. Even though the service was over, he hoped to come inside and take a look around. We talked for a few minutes... and my first impression -- and a correct one -- was that I had just met a good friend. Over the decade that followed, Jerry was that wonderful friend... always had an encouraging word or story... and was always willing to serve if I had need of his resonant baritone speaking voice. He and Carol have been treasured friends... and a blessing to my wife and kids, too. I will miss his warm heart... his smile... his thoughtful words... and his presence in the 2nd row every Sunday morning. Thanks, Jerry... you've blessed my life so very, very much!
Tamara "Tami" Gerbrandt
February 25, 2020
"Let me think about that." You and I often joked how that phrase would be appropriate for your tombstone, lol. I enjoyed our easy banter, our lunches at your favorite Mexican food restaurant, many viewings of a favorite movie, The Lakehouse and so much more! Thank you for being there for me when I needed a bear hug, for sharpening my grammar skills, for sparking my love for wine and especially for always loving and being there for my Mom. It was an honor to know you, Jerry and you will be greatly missed. I'm so very thankful of Christ's love and His promise of life everlasting. Love you, Jerry. Till we see each other again!
February 24, 2020
I really cannot believe you are gone Daddy. Writing your obituary has to be one of the hardest things I have ever done. I know I will see you again one day, but right now it does not seem real. You were such a bright light in my life. You held me in your arms shortly after my birth to pose for the paper and from that moment we shared a daddy/daughter bond like no other. We were confidants and friends and you never stopped teaching me, but you also allowed me to teach you. You loved so big, especially after accepting Jesus into your heart dad. That is the biggest blessing of all. I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU SO MUCH. See you on the other side daddy.
Love you. Ooh-wah - 10 minutes.