Creston News Advertiser
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
OBITUARY - DONALD GENE GIBSON
Donald Gene GIBSON, passed away peacefully, on Tuesday, March 4, 2008, at the Messenger House on Bainbridge Island,
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
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.
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