Gibby, Melvin Neal |
Neal passed away during the early hours of April 30, 2014, in San Clemente, California. He was the dear husband of Betty Rae Bailey Gibby, the two were married in Salt Lake City LDS Temple for time and all eternity on February, 23, 1943.
Neal and Betty are the parents of eight wonderful children, James, Krystyne, Steven, Lon, Alan, Dawna, Janette and Daniel and in-laws are, Dr. George Gray, Maryann Gibby, Sharon Gibby, Pamala Gibby, Dr. Lance Montgomery, Dr. Steven Bailey. Neal and Betty have 30 grandchildren, 47 great-grandchildren and are great-great-grandparents to one.
Neal was born in Ogden, Utah on May 5, 1924. The family moved to Los Angeles, CA when Neal was 4 years old. He was raised in Highland Park. He had dear parents, three sisters La Dean, Loria, Maureen and one brother, Ronald.
Neal was a talented gymnast, sailor, coach, father, grandfather and son. Neal graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School, Highland Park, California. He loved his country and joined the United States Navy soon after Pearl Harbor, himself entering WWII. He went through training at Los Alamitos Naval Air Station, studying aviation mechanics. Then, in Norman, Oklahoma, he received more training. Neal was stationed on Oahu for 1 ½ years, at Pearl Harbor and Barbers Point Naval Air Station. After World War II he served in the Naval Reserve during the Korean War for an additional two years. Neal served his Country and Her people with Honor.
Neal attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where he graduated with a bachelors degree. He earned his Masters at University of Southern California. His USC thesis was focused on the history of the Laguna Beach Pageant of the Masters. He personally interviewed several original Pageant founders and artists, including Roy Ropp. Neal's thesis became an important reference document for pageant historians, and as a result, Neal became a life member of the Pageant and Festival.
Neal was known for his amazing gymnastics ability and he often performed during half-time's of college basketball games, along with his young son James. At Main Beach, in Laguna, he would often attract large crowds around him as he worked out on the rings and parallel bars.
Neal taught at Fullerton Union High School for over two decades. He was a very successful CIF Coach. As he was teaching High School, and attending USC, Neal also became the founding Director of the City of Fullerton Recreation Department in the early 1960's.
Neal and Betty raised their family in Fullerton, and then from 1962 on, in Laguna Beach, California. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He loved The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where he happily and voluntarily served throughout his life. He and his wife, Betty, served a volunteer mission for the LDS Church in Houston, Texas during the mid-1990's.
He loved to help others in need and offered much service to many throughout his life, mostly anonymously. Keep going dear dad, do your hand-stand, we love you.
Funeral Services will be held on Friday, May 9, 2014 at 11:00am in the Shore Cliffs LDS Chapel at San Clemente, California, 470 Camino San Clemente, San Clemente, CA 92672. Graveside Services, with military honors will be held at 2:30pm at Pacific View Memorial Park, 3500 Pacific View Drive, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625.
Published in Orange County Register on May 8, 2014