GIBBONS, FRANCIS E. (Frank), of Vero Beach passed away on July 29, 2014 due to complications following a fall at home on July 10th, his 82nd birthday. Frank was born in Chicago, IL, in 1932, one of seven children of the late Mary and Redmond Gibbons of County Mayo, Ireland. As a seventeen year old high school graduate, Frank eagerly enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was sent to Korea during the war and proudly served his country. Memories of those years and his fellow Marines always remained close to his heart. Following his discharge, Frank attended the University of Notre Dame where he graduated with honors in 1958 and caught that "Fighting Irish Spirit" that lasts a lifetime and made every football season special! Frank returned to Chicago and received his law degree from De Paul University in 1961. He applied to and was accepted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for Special Agent training in Quantico, VA. Frank's first FBI office assignment, Philadelphia, PA would prove to be a turning point in his life when he met and later married his "forever sweetheart," Janet Doherty. Their marriage was blessed with three wonderful children who have always been grateful for their Dad's active involvement in every phase of their lives. Frank's twenty years with the FBI were challenging and rewarding. His expertise was dealing with complex foreign counter-intelligence cases. He retired from the FBI in 1981 and practiced immigration and real estate law in Miami, FL, which was home for forty years until Frank and Janet moved to Vero Beach in 2007. Frank is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Janet; children Michael (Ivana), Daniel, and Katie; grandchildren Daniel, Brooke, Gabriella, Rafaella, Becky, Elijah, and William. He is also survived by three brothers: John (Margaret), James (Gayle), and Richard; and two sisters: Marie (Robert) Luebke and Kathryn Alesia. Frank also leaves behind in-laws Joan and Larry Page, Donna and Joseph Sullivan and Richard and Michaela Doherty as well as many nieces and nephews and special friends and neighbors. Frank was pre-deceased by his sister Sally and brother-in-law James Alesia. Frank faced many serious medical challenges after the age of 55, and his Catholic faith was a great source of strength for him. He was a member of St. John of the Cross Church where his Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, August 4th, at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be held on Sunday evening, August 3rd from 5-7 p.m. at Cox-Gifford Seawinds Funeral Home: 1950 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL. Burial services will be held on Tuesday, August 5th at 2:00 p.m. at Woodlawn/Caballero Cemetery in Miami, FL: 11655 S.W. 117 Avenue. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Frank's memory to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, P.O. Box 4072, Pittsfield, MA 01202.
Cox-Gifford Funeral Home
1950 20th Street Vero Beach, FL 32960
Published in the Miami Herald on Aug. 1, 2014