Gordon Edward Gibson, 80, of Mt. Vernon, Washington died suddenly and unexpectedly of heart failure on Saturday, April 20, 2013.
Beloved husband, father, and grandfather, he is survived by his wife of 53 years, Gladys Tweddell Gibson; sons, Roger and Craig; daughter-in-law, Heather; grandsons, Riley, Royce and Keegan; sister, Mary Hatten; and many nieces and nephews; including the children of his deceased sister, Sara (Sally) Seagrave Charles Seagrave, and JeanClare (Jinkle) Seagrave.
The Gibson family moved to Orcas in 1911, farming their hundred plus acres of land on the north shore of the island. Gordon was born to Edna and Edward Gibson in the family farmhouse in 1932. Gordon and his two sisters, Mary and Sally, grew up working the farm and supporting the family business, Gibson's North Beach Inn, through the Great Depression and World War II.
Gordon graduated from Orcas Island High School in 1950 and from the University of Washington
in 1954 (Bachelors of Civil Engineering) and again in 1969 (Masters of Civil Engineering - Hydrodynamics). Throughout his long life Gordon kept in touch with many old friends, especially his Class of 1950 high school gang; including Jim Long, Meech Houghton, Bob "Doc" Jensen, Frank Russell, Don Gerald, and Duane Penning. Old friends and new meant a lot to Gordon. He was known to easily pick up a friendship right where it had left off the last time.
In 1955 he met his love Gladys Nancy Tweddell and in 1960 they were married and settled in Seattle, WA. Throughout their many happy years together, they shared numerous laughs along with a love for travel, British movies, and literature. In 1966 their first son, Roger, was born followed by Craig in 1967. A devoted father, Gordon led his children by example and, infinitely patient and loving, was always there to answer questions day or night and to provide unerringly sound guidance.
As a professional engineer, Gordon worked at Boeing for many years before establishing Gibson-Frundt engineering along with his partner and friend, Richard Frundt. Forever the engineer, he was always ready with a pocket calculator, a pencil, or even a foggy car windscreen to diagram out a system or to jot down any one of a myriad of formulas that he kept in his head.
From 1968 to the present Gordon was president of North Beach Inn and, along with his two sisters, worked for many long years to help keep the business in the family. Along with the help of his two sons, Gordon built two of the larger cabins at the Inn and was instrumental in guiding many of the overall business and mechanical aspects. There was virtually nothing he could not fix and even the smallest switch or most integral mechanical item rarely surpassed his ability to repair it.
In 1999 Gordon and Gladys sold their house of almost 40 years in Seattle and moved to Mt. Vernon in Skagit County to be nearer to Craig and Heather and their growing family. Even after retiring from engineering, Gordon spent a considerable amount of time on Orcas working on the family business in the company of his son Roger.
Gordon and Gladys took many trips to Europe over the years, sometimes with their two sons but most often with just each other. Most recently they completed individually taking each of their three grandsons to Europe: Riley to England and France in 2006, Royce to Scotland and England in 2009, and Keegan to Wales and England in 2012.
Visitation will be held from 9:00 am 5:00 pm, Thursday, April 25, 2013, at Evans Funeral Chapel in Anacortes, WA. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am, Friday April 26, 2013, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Orcas Island where he has been a member since his confirmation. A reception will be held at North Beach Inn, Gibson Road, Eastsound, following the service until 4:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Emmanuel Episcopal or to the Orcas Senior Center.
Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, WA and the San Juan Islands. To share memories of Gordy please sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com.