Marianne Angelika "Mia" (Kuncaitis) Gibbs (1949 - 2013)

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MANCHESTER – Marianne Angelika "Mia" Gibbs, 64, of Manchester peacefully returned to her Father on Friday April 26 after a courageous battle against Alzheimer's disease. Services will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 1, at United Methodist Church in Manchester by Rev. Michael Druhl. Visitation was from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30 at the Bohnenkamp-Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Manchester. Graveside services will be at Oakland Cemetery, Manchester.
Mia was born on April 25, 1949 to Marianne Kleinmann and Dr. John Kuncaitis in Ebingen, Germany. She met J. David "Dave" Gibbs of Manchester while singing the Messiah in 1984. Mia went on a student trip to Germany in 1985 and wrote Dave everyday while she was gone. They celebrated their love by being united in marriage on March 28, 1987, residing in Manchester. Together they had three children, twins Alexander, Christopher, and Alexa. Mia also lovingly accepted being mother to Dave's three children, Todd, Amy, and Sarah. They continued their love of singing by singing in the United Methodist church choir for 26 years, and singing with a mixed octet at many weddings in the area.
Mia immigrated to the United States with her family at an early age where the family eventually settled in Independence. She attended and graduated from St. John's Catholic High School in 1967. Later, she graduated from University of Northern Iowa with a degree in German and Education in 1971. She moved back to Munich, Germany working for Bank of America before becoming a teacher of English there. In 1975, she returned to the United States and began teaching High School German at Maquoketa Valley in 1977. She taught there for 30 years before retiring in 2005.
Mia loved teaching and taking students to visit her homeland, Germany. She took 12 trips with students to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Frau Gibbs inspired many of her students to major in German in college. She exposed the students not only to the language but the culture of Germany. Her joy was to have second-generation students. She had a great camaraderie with fellow teachers as well as the students.
Mia was an active participant in life, loving skiing both downhill and cross country, gardening, traveling, and most importantly, shopping. She never missed a Black Friday shopping trip with friends or her daughter, Alexa. Family was important to her and she was generally the center of mischief. She loved playing with the grandchildren.
Mia is survived by her husband, Dave of Manchester, and children, Alexa Gibbs of Central City, Dr. Sarah (Curt) Wymer of Decorah, Dr. Amy (fiancé Byron Ehrie) Gibbs of Decorah, Todd (DeeDee) Gibbs of Walford; her grandchildren, Benjamin, Nathan, Lucas, Nicholas, Noah, Owen, and Ian; her mother, Marianne Kuncaitis of Independence; a brother, Dr. John (Mary) Kuncaitis of Rochester, Minn.; three sisters, Angelika "Angie" of Marion, Maggie of Independence, and Beatrice of Winter Haven, Fla.; nieces and nephews, Amy, Sara, and John David Kuncaitis, Roger Allen, Abby and Phillip Knight.
Mia was preceded in death by her twin sons, Alexander and Christopher; her father John; and father and mother-in-law, Polly and Bob Gibbs of Des Moines.
Dave wishes to send a special thank you to her loving caregivers, sisters, Angie and Maggie, and Shelly Chapman, who cared diligently for her for the months preceding her death.
Memorials may be given to the or the Manchester United Methodist Church choir.
Mia will always be remembered for her fun-loving ways, generosity, and her love of children and teaching.
Please sign the online guestbook for Mia at under obituaries.
Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal from Apr. 30 to May 18, 2013
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