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CHRISTIANNE MYRTLE GIBBS
FORMERLY OF NEW BRUNSWICK
Christianne Myrtle Gibbs of Orlando, Florida, near-lifelong resident of New Brunswick, died peacefully of natural causes on Monday, March 8, 2010.
She was born Myrtle Hart, at 85 Morrell Street in New Brunswick. However, as she would admit to anyone, she loathed the name Myrtle, so she would introduce herself by the name of Chris(tianne), her baptismal name, to which she finally changed legally at the advanced age of 81. Her parents came to New Brunswick from Philadelphia where her father's occupations included glass blowing, grounds keeping and trolley car conducting. Christianne and her siblings attended New Brunswick schools and the family members were parishioners of Saint Peter's RC Church. She had an active and happy social life during her youth from which she would recall stories of picture-show dates at the Rivoli or the Opera House Theater, parties at the Rutgers fraternity houses, sodas at the Roger Smith Hotel, and canoe rides on Farrington Lake. Christianne eventually met Cecil Gibbs of Hyde County, North Carolina, and the two were married in 1933. While the marriage ultimately ended in divorce, she and Cecil had three sons during the Depression and WWII years. Christianne struggled during the late 1940s and 1950s as a single parent, but still managed to maintain a loving household for her family. After her sons grew up and left home, she stayed focused on children by working with troubled teens in the juvenile detention center at North Brunswick. In 1965, in her typical, selfless fashion, she agreed to raise two of her grandchildren. Fondly remembered for her obsession with cleanliness, neatness and, above all other earthly concerns, her hair, Christianne was fiercely loyal to beloved family members. She was energetic, strong-willed, resourceful, and was highly supportive of those she loved.
Christianne is predeceased by her parents: John Thomas Hart and Emma Williamson Hart, and by her siblings: Gertrude Hart Freedman, James Hart, Stella Hart, Ruth Hart Cull and Grace Hart Dawson. Christianne is survived by her three sons, all of Florida: Ronald Gibbs, Richard (Karen) Gibbs and Robert (Jayme) Gibbs. She is survived by six grandchildren: Christopher (Sandra) Gibbs, Timothy (April) Gibbs, Kelley Gibbs (Kendrick) Lee, Christian (Trinidad) Gibbs, Kimberly Gibbs (Justin) Freeman and Lauren Gibbs. She is further survived by six great-grandchildren: Penelope Gibbs, Kaya Lee, Evan Lee, Isabela Gibbs, Crimson Freeman and Noah Gibbs. Also survived by her nieces: Judith Freedman Westlin and Elaine Freedman, and her nephew, Jack Hart.
A memorial service will take place on March 20th, from noon to 2pm, at Boylan Funeral Home in New Brunswick. A burial of cremated remains will then take place at Saint Peter's Cemetery, New Brunswick.
Published in Home News Tribune on Mar. 9, 2010