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EUNICE GIBSON

Eunice Lorain Cone Gibson--aka "Tuffy", Mom, Mama G, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Sister and Dear Friend--died on June 18, 2013. Born January 26, 1915, in Buckholts, Texas, Eunice was the youngest of 10 kids (6 brothers, 3 sisters). From the beginning, she wanted to keep up with her older siblings. So, she started school at age 4, graduated from high school at age 14, got her teaching degree from Texas Tech at age 18. She taught high school English and Spanish when she was just 18. She had a childhood that few today experience -milking the cows in the morning before school, riding a horse to and from school and even playing girls' basketball, when it really wasn't okay for girls to play sports-at least not sports that made them sweat! Eunice was always determined (some say stubborn). At the age of 4 or 5 or 10 or 11 (the story changed over the years), she rode a horse to help drive the family's cattle to market. She was proud to be paid the same rate as the adult drovers-receiving a three-dollar check. She promptly went (alone) to the local bank, where she opened an account and deposited her first paycheck. From that time forward, she always knew she could conduct her own business. In 1938, Eunice married Hoot Gibson. During their 68-year marriage they had four children, 10 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Eunice & Hoot lived in Lubbock (where they met), Galveston, Des Moines (where she got her private pilot's license), New York City (where they lived above a grocery store while Hoot was a resident at Columbia), before settling in El Paso, Texas in 1948. She was an avid skier and made a point of skiing at the age of 70, after not having skied for many years, just to prove that she could. Eunice had a life long commitment to a rigorous daily walk-whether in the Franklin Mountains, in the neighborhood or just around the halls of Monte Vista. She loved driving and insisted on driving stick-shift cars until the age of 85, when she bought her first automatic. When email became widely available, Eunice was an early adopter and learned to use a computer to communicate with family and friends via email. She drank buttermilk (straight) and loved pecans, malted milk balls, green chicken enchiladas and ice cream. Eunice would often get hiccups when she ate a hot jalapeno. She made the most delicious Chinese chews, brownies and banana nut bread. Eunice started a women's bridge group that played every Friday for over 40 years and she was also an avid reader and crossword puzzler. Her family was the light of her life and the center of her world. As a Mom, Eunice always encouraged her children and often reminded them "can't never tried". She made sure each of them knew that there were no limits to what they could achieve, if they just put their mind and effort toward it. She also believed there was no shame in failure, as long as you'd given it your best. Somehow she managed to raise four children-Martin, Stanley, Bill and Lori- without ever raising her voice. Later, when her kids had their own children, Eunice shared part of her parenting philosophy: "if you teach your children to mind you, you'll enjoy them more and so will everyone else". As a student interested in Spanish and Spanish cultures, she took a road trip with friends to visit the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera. Eunice had a lifelong interest in art and took many classes at UT El Paso in sculpture, painting and jewelry making. She was also a long time supporter of the El Paso Museum of Art. Eunice was a saver and a successful investor. Although she seldom spent money on herself, she was generous with her children and grandchildren-particularly when it came to their educations. All four of her children graduated from Stanford University and all went on to obtain graduate degrees. "I reckon most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be" - one of Eunice's favorite Abe Lincoln quotes that Mama Cone would often recite-really did seem to be her life's motto. Eunice clearly made up her mind to be happy and to enjoy each and every day of her long and well-lived life. Mostly, though, Eunice was a kind, tolerant, determined, humble, grounded, sweet, stubborn, wise, fair and most intelligent woman. Her children, her grandchildren, her great grandchildren, family and friends will miss her, something fierce. Eunice will be buried in the City of Lubbock Cemetery with her mother, Mary Lula Holland Cone, her father, Jesse Martin Cone, several members of the Cone family, along with the ashes of her husband of 68 years, Hoot Gibson. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the El Paso Art Museum or The Rescue Mission of El Paso.

Funeral Home

Martin Funeral Home
128 North Resler Drive El Paso, TX 79912
(915) 584-1234

Published in El Paso Times from June 22 to June 29, 2013
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