James H. Gibbens Sr., a native of Hope Villa and resident of Metairie, died Thursday, March 14, 2013 after a brief illness.
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Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. until funeral time Saturday at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church in Metairie. A Mass of Christian burial will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the church, with a private burial.
He is survived by his seven children, Sara Swigart, Dorothy Greene, James H. Jr., J. Louis (Cathi), Nancy Keylon, Mary H. and William B. III (Theo); 18 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren; and siblings, Julian, Elmore, and Robert Gibbens and Marie Bentel.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 71 years, Elizabeth Pennington Gibbens; parents, William B, Sr. and Marie Moore Gibbens; granddaughter, Virginia Greene; and siblings, Sr. Mary, O.S.F, William B. Jr., Henry H., Noyes P., and Thomas E.
His father was a sugarcane planter, who later moved the family to Georgia Plantation in Mathews. It was from this location that he began his working career with The Texas Company (Texaco), primarily in South Louisiana, but his work also took him to developing oil fields in foreign countries. He began working as a roustabout in 1934 and advanced through the ranks to become corporate vice-president of Texaco's Southeast U.S. Producing Department in 1973.
His contribution in the development of inland drilling procedures and techniques are notable. He was a lifetime member of Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, which named him the Oil and Gas Man of the Seventies in Louisiana. He participated in several other professional organizations, and co-workers and industry analysts alike, in various declarations and publications, have noted his efforts which helped to enhance the development of the oil and gas industry worldwide.
He was a parishioner of St. Philip Neri Parish. He was a member of the New Orleans Archdiocesan Finance Council for thirteen years and received the Knight of St. Gregory Award in recognition of his work.
Special thanks goes to the staff in the Oschner ICU and those at the East Jefferson Wellness Center.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in his name to St. Philip Neri Catholic Church and the Jesuits.
Lake Lawn Funeral Home in Metairie is in charge of arrangements.
Published in Houma Today & The Daily Comet from Mar. 14 to Mar. 15, 2013