News and Observations from Wapella, Illinois: Home of the Wildcats.

Facebook Activity for Wapella

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 Mourns the Passing of Virgil Gibson

Virgil W. Gibson entered his eternal home on Friday morning (July 10, 2009) peacefully with his family by his side. It was one week prior to his 91st birthday.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton with J. Kent Hickerson officiating. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery, Clinton with military rites at the gravesite. Friends may call Monday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton.

Virgil was born in 1918 in Spencer, Iowa. His mother passed away when he was six months old, and his family moved back to Clinton a year later. On Sept. 12, 1941, he married Anita Ives. They had 67 wonderful years together.

Virgil served in the U.S. Army in seven different countries during World War II. Later, the couple founded Gibson Ace Hardware, first in Wapella and then in Clinton.

In addition to experiencing success in his business, Virgil was known for his community service. He served as Chairman of the Wapella Cornbread and Bean Festival and the Wapella Centennial Celebration. As a 60-year member of the Wapella Christian Church, he served as an elder for 30 years and also as chairman and treasurer.

Later, Virgil was one of three original members of the planning committee for the DeWitt County Museum and volunteered at the Apple and Pork Festival for 39 years. He served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Clinton Country Club and was the chairman of the Clinton Retail Merchants' Association.

He was president and a board member of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce and Vice-Chairman of the DeWitt County United Way. He was a member of the DeWitt Masonic Lodge 84 A.F. & A.M., the American Legion, Elks Lodge and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He organized the Clinton Christmas parades and was honored to serve as Grand Marshall in 1985. In 1996, Virgil received the Outstanding Service Award from the Clinton Chamber of Commerce.

After his retirement, Virgil and Anita spent their winters in Florida but his volunteering spirit did not retire. He served as a Board Member of the Hickory Harbour Condo Association and as a volunteer at the Lions Club in Bonita Springs, Florida.

Virgil was richly blessed by the Lord with excellent health throughout his long life, showing his first decline just three years ago.

Virgil is survived by his wife, Anita, two daughters (both WHS alums), Jane Nichols of Denver, Colo., and Candi (John) Heap of Clinton. They have three granddaughters, Amy (Scott) Ruter of Parker, Colo., Paula (Brad) Barton of Tolono and Julia Heap of Chicago. He also has three great-granddaughters, Payton and Addison Ruter and Kylie Barton and one sister, Olive Moberly of Clinton. He also leaves behind many other treasured family and friends.

Those who wish may direct memorial contributions to the Wapella Christian Church, Little Galilee Christian Assembly, Clinton Y.M.C.A. or to the Clinton Elks' Scholarship Fund.

All flags half mast please for U.S. Army veteran Virgil Gibson.


Carolyn Green Forbes said...

My condolences to Anita, Jane Ann and Candi Jo. I have such fond memories of Virgil --- from seeing that huge new hardware store in Wapella, to wonderful times at the Christian Church and the best of all, sleepovers with Jane Ann. Virgil and Anita always made me feel right at home. Virgil was a wonderful man and I'm proud to have known him.

Barbara Harrold Horton (64) said...

Virgil & Anita were like my second mom & dad growing up. I have only good memories of those good ole days. My thoughts and prayers go out to Anita, jane, and Candi and their families. I khow they will miss Virgil tremendously. Like Carolyn I spent many a night at their house and always got to enjoy one of Virgil's famous breakfasts.

A hello out to Carolyn, we had some great times together at school and at the Wapella Christian Church ... remember the CCYA meetings we all attended?

Blog Archive