DR. CLYDE E. GIBSON, 84
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BARTOW - Dr. Clyde E. Gibson, age 84, passed away at his home on July 9, 2014 from heart failure.
His devoted wife, Ann, recently preceded him in death. He was loved by his two children Cheryl Gibson Smith of Atlanta, Georgia and Clyde Allen Gibson (Deanna) of Bartow, Florida, as well as by his four grandchildren Ian and Sommer Smith and Anna Mae and William Allen Gibson.
Dr. Gibson was born and educated in Bartow and attended Emory College and Emory Medical School before serving in the Navy as a medical officer for a carrier group stationed out of Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Following his naval service and residency in Greenville, South Carolina he returned to Bartow to dedicate the rest of his life to serving the medical needs of his friends and community. He assisted in birthing generations of children in Bartow, sutured the wounds of people and hounds, and served as the repository of secrets and confidences shared by his patients and friends over the years. Dr. Gibson was proud to be the only physician born in Bartow, educated in Bartow, and dedicated to serving his entire career in Bartow. He was inducted into the Bartow High School Hall of Fame to honor this lifetime of service. In addition to operating his own medical practice, Dr. Gibson acted as Polk County Coroner, served on the Board of Directors for the Bartow Memorial Hospital, and provided free sports physicals for Bartow High School athletes during his years of practice - for this he was made an Honorary Letterman.
For over fifty years Dr. Gibson was a passionate Bartow Rotary Club member, serving as the organization's president and member of the Board of Directors. He has been honored as a multiple Paul Harris Fellow for his contributions to the Bartow Rotary Foundation and was the Governor's Representative for District 695. He was proud to attend Rotary Club meetings around the world during his travels and brought back many club flags.
Dr. Gibson was a lifetime honorary member of the Florida Sheriffs Association which also recognized him as a Builder for the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches. As a Volunteer Firefighter, he served as the medical doctor for the department, answering the fire phone ringing in his house for over forty years.
Dr. Gibson was a strong proponent of the value of education and lifelong learning. He established an educational scholarship through the Bartow Rotary Club and privately helped a number of deserving individuals pay for their schooling. He also funded the establishment of the Gibson Family Reading Room at the Bartow Public Library.
After retiring from his medical practice Dr. Gibson joined his good friend Phil Marstellar in establishing a free clinic in the Amazon jungle in Brazil where he and his wife, Ann, lived and dedicated themselves to operating the clinic and school for years. Clyde and Ann are now common surnames in the Amazon jungle due to the grateful native parents of the many children he delivered.
Dr. Gibson was an enthusiastic world traveler and visited 115 countries in his lifetime, as evidenced by a passport made heavy with stamps! He declared Bora Bora to be the most beautiful place on earth. Dr. Gibson was passionate about hunting and fishing both here at home and in exotic locations around the world. His Christmas card mailing list contained as many addresses of international friends as addresses of those closer to home.
Dr. Gibson acknowledged that he lived a long and blessedly full life. He touched many lives along his journey and will live on in the memories of those who were fortunate enough to know him.
Dr. Gibson's family will receive friends Sunday, July 13th from 2 PM to 4 PM at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home in Bartow. Memorial services will be held on Monday, July 14th at 3:00 PM at the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 205 East Stanford Street in Bartow. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made the Bartow Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 14, Bartow, FL 33831. Condolences
Whidden-McLean Funeral Home - Bartow
650 E. Main Street
Bartow, FL 33830
Published in Ledger from July 12 to July 13, 2014