G.C. Gibson, Ph.D.

Published 1:19 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2020

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Nov. 28, 1926 – March 8, 2020

Jena, La. — Graveside services for G.C. Gibson, Ph.D., 93, who passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 8, 2020, at St. Joseph’s Carpenter House in Baton Rouge, will be 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, at Belah Cemetery in Jena, Louisiana.

Born on a small houseboat on Black River near Jena, Louisiana, on Nov. 28, 1926, Mr. Gibson was the youngest son of James Bryant Gibson and Henrietta Thompson Gibson. From humble beginnings in north Louisiana, he moved on to graduate from Sulphur High School in 1944. After graduation, he joined the Navy and was honorably discharged in 1946. Upon discharge, he returned to Sulphur and married his high school sweetheart and mother of his children, Verlie Patin Gibson. They would remain married for 31 years. Following their marriage, he enrolled in the University of Southwestern Louisiana (ULL) and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Science and Mathematics Education in 1949 and returned to Sulphur where he served as a coach, teacher, and Principal. In 1954, he enrolled in LSU and obtained his MEd in Educational Administration. In 1963, the family moved to DeQuincy, Louisiana where he became principal of DeQuincy High School. In 1965, the family moved to Baton Rouge so that he could pursue his Ph.D. in Education at LSU. After working several years as the Director of Elementary Education for the Louisiana State Department of Education, he became a professor in the College of Education at LSU until he retired in 1978. Following his retirement, he moved to Natchez, Mississippi, to teach at the University of Southern Mississippi Natchez campus. It was there he met and married his second wife, Emma “Dean” Jones. During his time in Natchez, he pursued and obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology from USM-Hattiesburg. After leaving USM-Natchez, he moved to Charleston, South Carolina to become the Associate Dean of Baptist College. When Dean became ill, they returned to Natchez to be close to family and friends. His beloved Dean passed away in 1994.

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In 1998, he married Sandra Lloyd Davidson of Natchez. Together they built their dream home on Lake Concordia in Ferriday, Louisiana and lived there until 2018 when health concerns convinced them to move to Baton Rouge to be closer to his children. After 21 years of marriage, Sandra passed away last summer. Throughout his career, he was an active member of The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and served as a member and team leader of many accreditation teams visiting numerous schools in the United States and abroad, primarily in South America. Though he received too many awards to list, there were two that he was particularly proud to receive. In 1986, the Association of American Schools in South America honored him with the Honorary Distinguished Award of “Fellow of the Americas” for all the work he did on behalf of the Southern Association in the numerous countries of South America. In 1989 he was awarded the highest honor bestowed by the Southern Association, the “Distinguished Educator Achievement Award.”

He is survived by a son, Jim Gibson and his wife, Linda; daughter Lisa Gibson Creekbaum and her husband, Wade; four grandsons, Gary Gibson, Brandon, Taylor, and Seth Creekbaum, and two step-granddaughters Ashley and Summer Creekbaum. He is also survived by stepchildren and their families, Joey Wilson Willet, Stewart Finley, Laura Davidson Merritt and Madeline Davidson Hill. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Henrietta Gibson, a brother, Arthur Ralph Gibson, wives Dean Jones Gibson and Sandra Lloyd Gibson, and former wife Verlie Patin Gibson.

For most of his 93 years, he was healthy and active. He traveled the world and, according to him, was blessed to marry three beautiful women. As much as he will be missed, we are so grateful to celebrate a life well-lived.