Doris Gibson

  • "Nicest bio I ever read. There should be more Doris' in the..."
    - J L
  • "My mother was great! She was always smiling and enjoyed..."
    - Michael Gibson
  • "Post a photo of you Gibson boys doing your Dorising!!:)..."
  • "Just got finished doing my morning Dorising with the boys...."
    - Archibald Gibson
  • "I learned so many skills from my mother, just watching her..."
    - chris gibson

On July 27, 2013, the world lost its greatest mom and biggest flirt. Her passing will keep Heaven busy for a while answering all the questions she had saved up. Doris was born on April 23, 1923, in Baltimore, Maryland, home of the best crab cakes in the world. She loved baseball and attended countless Orioles games, meeting players and collecting their autographs. After high school, she worked for Blue Cross, spending one of her first paychecks on a plane ticket to New York City to see Frank Sinatra in concert and stay at the Waldorf Astoria.

She met and fell in love with young Navy sailor Archie Gibson. After tossing the ring back at him a few times, just to keep things exciting, she married him shortly after WWII. They settled in his home of the Panama Canal Zone. Throughout the years they raised eight children and lived in Baltimore; Cincinnati; Syracuse; Waynesboro, VA; Erie, PA; and Dunedin, FL. They were married 40 years until his death in 1987. She loved the beach and warm Florida sunshine, but in 1994 she moved to Wasilla, Alaska. Her favorite place was a rock in the Little Susitna River in Hatcher Pass on which she posed for numerous photos over the years.

A devoted wife and mother, she infused a love of life, travel and adventure into her children. Appropriately, her favorite song was "Don't fence me in." She had a terrible sense of direction. She had a quick wit and sharp tongue behind that sweet smile. Her signature phrase was "pooey." As children, we did a lot of traveling-mom sent us on a guilt trip every day! She was passionate about politics and voted (overwhelmingly Republican) in 18 presidential elections. She loved Tom Jones, ice cream, babies and animals. She was adept at crossword puzzles and cards, and passed on her love of Yahtzee and board games to her progeny. She was a voracious reader who conquered War and Peace. Twice. Because you always miss something the first time.

She perfected the grilled cheese sandwich and creamed chipped beef (with peas!) on toast. She was proud of being flexible enough (even well into her 80s) to extend her legs over her head. Her family-worldwide-adopted this pose in her honor, posting photographs online. (#dorising)

During her lifetime she met some famous people, including Cal Ripken and Steve Carrel; however, to her family and friends, she was the star who touched, influenced and inspired so many people's lives. We will miss her greatly, and she will forever live on in our hearts and memories.

Doris is survived by her sons, Archie III, Roanoke, VA; James, New York City; Michael, Springfield, VA; and Christopher (Peggy), Pittsburgh, PA; daughters Patricia Mathias, Karen Punturo and Virginia (Mike) Geary, all of Wasilla, and Kathleen (Mike) Gibson-Blake of Charleston, SC; 21 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.

There will be a funeral Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wasilla, on September 26. Doris will be buried in Palm Harbor, Florida, on October 24. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you take a loved one out for ice cream.

Published in Anchorage Daily News from Aug. 25 to Aug. 26, 2013