Published 12:00 am Friday, March 26, 2010
GIBSON, Donald Jackson of Montgomery, Alabama, died early the morning of March 25, 2010, following the only serious illness and the only hospitalization of his life.
He was 69 years old. Visitation will be from Noon until 2 PM on Saturday, March 27, 2010, at Alabama Heritage Funeral Home, with his funeral service at 2 PM. Dr. Tim Thompson will officiate, with eulogies given by Judge Tommy Bryan, Senator Jimmy Holley, and Joel L. Williams.
Music will be provided by Van English and Wilburn Ingram. Serving as pallbearers will be Jim Bradsher, Donnie Hussey, Brian Snider, Buddy Starling, Jon Medley, Howard Freeland, Jim Little, and Ron Pierce. Honorary Pallbearers will be his Brothers of Sigma Chi Fraternity.
“Dean Gibson,” as he was known for most of his adult life by thousands of university students and colleagues, was a native of Greenville, Alabama.
He graduated from Troy State College with his bachelor’s degree in 1961 and taught for two years at Americus High School in Americus, Georgia, while working toward his master’s degree, which he earned from Troy State in 1963.
That same year, he was named Director of Men’s Residence at his college alma mater, beginning his 30-year tenure at the institution now known as Troy University.
During those unprecedented years of the institution’s growth, serving alongside Chancellors Ralph Wyatt Adams and Jack Hawkins, Jr., Don Gibson worked tirelessly in the positions of Director of Financial Aid, Director of Contracts and Grants, Dean of Students, Vice President for Student Affairs, Director of Governmental Affairs, and Special Assistant to the Chancellor.
Among his innumerable accomplishments for Troy University were his highly instrumental involvement in its governmental and legislative affairs at the state capitol and the expansion of Troy’s Greek system, hallmarked by his perseverance in establishing a chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, at a time when that organization had decided to open no more new chapters.
He was the Eta Phi Chapter’s first advisor and was honored internationally as the Erwin L. LeClerg Chapter Advisor of the Year for 1985.
He also served as advisor of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society, was named Mr. Greek TSU, and received the prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.
In 1987, the University of West Alabama bestowed upon Don Gibson its honorary Doctor of Laws. Aside from his University work, Gibson served on the Pike Manor Nursing Home Board and on the City of Troy Board of Education.
He was also a member of the Troy Rotary Club for many years. Dr. Gibson retired from Troy State University in 1993 and in 1995; he founded the Alabama Legislative Reading and Research Service in Montgomery.
He is preceded in death by his parents Naomi “Tootsie” and Calvin Gibson of Greenville, and by his mother- and father in-law Jennie and Robert Hussey of Elba. He is survived by his wife of 43 years Carolyn Hussey Gibson; by his daughter Angela Gibson Jones (Kenneth) of Columbiana; by his two grandsons James Tucker Holley and Elijah Paul Jones; by his brother Gene Calvin Gibson (Gale) of Greenville; by several nieces and nephews; and by a special King Charles Cavalier Spaniel named Rex. Memorials may be made to The Jackson Hospital Foundation- 1725 Pine St.-Montgomery, AL 36106, or the Eta Phi Chapter of Sigma Chi House Fraternity Corp., Troy University, Troy, AL.
Condolences may be expressed at www.alabamaheritagefh.com.