Wilma Gibbons

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Wilma Alberta Rupnow Gibbons

Resident of Berkeley


Born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada on December 18, 1926 to William and Lillian Rupnow. Wilma died in the company of her loving children on March 19, 2013 as a result of complications from Alzheimer's disease. She was preceded in death by her husband CWO-4 William John Gibbons Sr. USAF-Retired.


She is survived by her son, William Gibbons (Sherrie) and daughter, Linda Harrington (Michael). Wilma is also survived by her six grandchildren, Jennifer Gibbons Gennuso (Louis), Meghan Harrington, Madeleine Harrington, John Gibbons, Patrick Harrington, and Mary Harrington.


During World War II, while attending Commerce Evening High School in San Francisco, she was employed at Marinship Corporation in Sausalito. She was mistress of ceremonies at the launching of the tanker S.S. Mission San Juan, an honor obtained by selling war bonds. Music was a continuous presence in her life as she taught piano or played the organ for the Air Force chapel system and numerous churches.


As the wife of a career military officer, she had the opportunity to travel the world. While stationed in Tripoli, Libya she was responsible for the musical portion of the memorial service for President Kennedy conducted at the Wheelus Air Force Base Chapel and the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Tripoli.


As a longtime resident of San Rafael she was active in the community. Wilma served two terms as president of the Marin Symphony League, Director of the Marin Symphony Association, Director of the Marin Theater Company, member of the Cultural Affairs Commission and a Marin Volunteer of the Year. Wilma was an insatiable learner and achieved her B.A. from Sonoma State in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Educational Counseling from the University of San Francisco.


We would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to the staff of the Berkshire Assisted Living Community in Berkeley for their loving care of Wilma; they were her extended family.


A private memorial service will be held followed by interment at San Francisco National Cemetery, located in the Presidio of San Francisco.


Donations may be made in her memory to the 2013 Walk to End Alzheimer's, Team Berkshire. http://act.alz.org



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Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Mar. 24, 2013
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