Charles Duane Gibson, born in Akron, Ohio, on July 31, 1934 returned home to be with his Lord and Savior on Feb. 17, 2020, at age 85.
He graduated from Ellet High School (1952) and received a B.S. degree from Baldwin Wallace College (1965) where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Fraternity and played football on a full ride scholarship. He had careers in sales at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber and JB Dove Companies and ultimately fulfilled his dream of becoming an entrepreneur and business owner when he founded the Polara Manufacturing Company (1974) in Rittman, Ohio.
Duane and his siblings were raised by a loving mother, Margaret Lucille Gibson, and father, Wayne Gibson, in a network of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who instilled in him a strong sense of family and important foundational values. He married the love of his life, Rosemarie, in 1959 and they happily celebrated their 60th Anniversary on December 19, 2019.
Through the years Duane and Rose moved from Akron, Ohio, where their son, Duane R. Gibson, was born, to Buffalo, N.Y., where their son, Brett A. Gibson, was born, and then to Willingboro, N.J., where their daughter, Kelli L. Gibson, was born.
Duane was a connector! He made friends everywhere he went and he carried them with him as he moved through life. His customers and friends became his family! His stature earned him the nickname “Big Duane” and he spent his life living up to it! He lived Big! He loved Big: adventure, travel, loyalty, heart, music, art, food, cars, dancing, friends, family and God!
He would often combine those interests and visit new places. One such trip led them to Fountain Hills where he and Rose decided to retire. They had found their “paradise on Earth” in the desert sunshine! There, a new branch of his family grew, as he and Rose became faithful servants of God as members of Shepherd of The Hills Lutheran Church in Fountain Hills. He was active in the local Cursillo movement, was a member of the churches Foundation Committee in charge of awarding scholarships and was a clown in the Clowns for Christ Ministry. Through these ministries, he found deep connection and purpose and the responsibilities and true friendships that evolved, fortified his faith and held a special place in his heart. Loving God gave him meaning.
He was preceded in death by parents, Wayne and Margaret Lucille Gibson; grandparents, Diana (Nanny) and Anderson McPherson; brother, Neil Gibson; brother-in-law, William Garn; Uncle Harold and Aunt Ruthie McPherson; Uncle William and Aunt June Holloway; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Roger and Violet Coe; brother-in-law, James Berecek; Uncle Bert and Aunt Anna McPherson; cousin, Beverly Welfly, cousin, Barbara McPherson and many other special aunts, uncles and cousins.
He leaves in love his dedicated and loving wife, Rosemarie Gibson; son, Duane (Paula) of Chevy Chase, Md.; son, Brett (Kelly) of Gilbert, Ariz.; daughter, Kelli Gibson of Fountain Hills; six extraordinary grandsons, Cole (21), Braxton (20), Owen (18), Kellen (17), Cayden (14) and Easton (9); baby sister; Diane Garn (Denny); sister-in-law, Deanna Gibson (Neil); sister-in-law, Jaycee Berecek (James) special cousins, June and Larry Welker, and Suzie McPherson as well as numerous nieces, nephews and friends. He loved them all and they him.
Service was held Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church 16150 E El Lago Blvd, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268, Reception followed the service at the Church.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Duane’s name to: The Youth Music Ministry at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 16150 E. El Lago Blvd, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.