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Creston News Advertiser
Bremerton, Washington
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

OBITUARY - DONALD GENE GIBSON

Donald GIBSON passed away on Tuesday, March 4, 2008, at The Messenger House on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

He was 76 years of age and born on October 24, 1931 in Kellerton, Iowa.

A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, March 7, 2008, at 3 p.m. at The Bainbridge Island Senior Center/The Commons. A reception will follow.

Please sign the online Guest Book for the family at: www.cookfamilyfuneralhome.com. Arrangements entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home.

OBITUARY - DONALD GENE GIBSON

American Flag.jpg Donald Gene GIBSON, passed away peacefully, on Tuesday, March 4, 2008, at the Messenger House on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Don was born on October 24, 1931, in Kellerton, Iowa, to Leo and Bernice GIBSON. Don was raised on a farm, where he helped the family from an early age. He attributes his hard work ethic to the rigors of farm life. He was the oldest of two, survived by his younger sister, Nellie. Don was valedictorian of his high school class and received his degree in pharmacy from the University of Iowa. It was at the University of Iowa that a nursing student by the name of Joyce Diane KIEFER caught Don’s eye.

Upon graduation, Don had the good fortune to be stationed on Bainbridge Island, Washington, as a U.S. Army Medic. He was so enamored with the Island that he quickly realized that he wanted this to be his home, and he wanted Joyce to be his wife. She came to Bainbridge Island, and they were married on the island on February 16, 1957.

After his stint in the Army, Don worked as a pharmacist in Winslow. In September of 1959, Don and Joyce welcomed into the world their first child, Kevin Jon GIBSON. Four years later, their daughter, Tamara was born. Within three more years, they had two more sons, David and Brian. Although they had four children of their own, they played host to several exchange students. Don and Joyce loved this and the students (Jenny, Margaret, and Wendy) so much that the students became extended family. If you asked, they would tell you that Margaret, their exchange student from South Africa, is their daughter too.

Don was a beloved pharmacist on Bainbridge. He viewed his customers as friends and knew them all by name. It was quite common for Don to make house calls after hours to deliver medicine. When not working, Don loved to garden and work in the yard. Don left the farm, but the farm never quite left him. Much of what the family ate, Don had grown. Over the years, he grew carrots, pumpkins, pickles, squash, zucchini, peas, raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, corn, radishes, lettuce, potatoes, and more. He also had plum, pear, cherry, and apple trees, not to mention chickens. Don was “organic” before organic was cool.

Don loved the outdoors and loved to take his family camping for vacations. Family time either involved being outdoors camping, gardening, or chopping wood, or it involved sitting around a table playing cards. Not only did he fashion himself the great outdoorsman, he also loved to boast that he was quite the card shark.

Last summer, Don and Joyce were able to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends. It was quite the celebration and reunion with family coming from throughout the country and Canada. Although in recent years, Don’s mobility became limited, he still enjoyed socializing and playing cards. He loved to go to the Senior Center to call Bingo.

Don made an impact on so many. He will surely be missed. He is survived by his wife, Joyce, and by three of his children, Tamara (Gellert) of Seattle (with husband Nick and children Morgan and Frances), David of Macon, Georgia (with wife Bonnie and children Jane, Will, and Kevin), and Brian of Seattle (with wife Stephanie and daughter Nora), and his sister, Nellie NORRIS of Kellerton, Iowa. He is also survived by his “adopted” exchange student daughter, Margaret STEYN of Vancouver, BC (with husband Douw and daughter Johanna).

A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 3:00 PM at The Bainbridge Island Senior Center/The Commons. A reception will follow.

The family request memorial contributions be made to The Helpline House, 282 Knechtel Way NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 or The Bainbridge Island Senior Center, 370 Brein Drive SE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.

Arrangements entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2009

To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
srbecker@windstream.net.
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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