Earl Woodrow Gibson

Gibson Earl Woodrow "Smokey" or "Little Smoke" Gibson of Columbus, Oh., died at age 92, on February 22, 2014 from complications of congestive heart failure. He was born July 3, 1921, in Portsmouth, Oh. Smokey is survived by wife, Alice ("Mick") Williams Gibson of Columbus; and by son, Jon Alan Gibson and his wife, Barbara Davis Gibson of East Falmouth, Mass. He is also survived by nieces and nephews in Ohio, Louise Gibson Waller of Chillicothe, Joseph Gibson of Allensville, Dewey Gibson, Jr., of Frankfort, and Linda Gibson Faddis of Georgetown. Smokey was predeceased by his father Charles Oscar Gibson (1887-1964) and mother Maude Barker/Laney Gibson (1888-1957), former wife Elaine Gardiner Gibson (1928-1984), and four older siblings -- Dora (1905-1926), Dewey (1908-1975), David (1911-1991), and Denver ("Big Smoke"; 1915-1952). Smokey graduated from Portsmouth High School (PHS) in 1940, and earned bachelor's (1948) and master's (1951) degrees in education from Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College (now Eastern Kentucky Univ.). At PHS, his extracurricular activities included playing guard for the Trojan football team and acting in school plays. His football play earned him a full football scholarship offer from Eastern, allowing him to attend college and become a teacher/coach. At Eastern, he participated in football and indoor track & field. Smokey's college education was broken up by his military service in World War II. He moved from Eastern's Reserve Officer Training Program to the Army's Officers Candidate School,and entered service as a 2nd Lieutenant. He left service honorably as a Captain, having commanded the headquarters battery for divisional artillery for the 3rd Infantry Division in the European Campaign. He also briefly served with the Constabulary (occupation) Force in Europe after the war, setting up the training program for secure constabulary communications, as well as organizing the constabulary-wide motor pool. After returning to and graduating from Eastern, Smokey began his teaching and coaching career at Georgetown (Ky.) Garth High School in 1948, and moved to his alma mater -- PHS -- in 1949. At PHS, he taught world history, economics, and personal health, and coached track & field (head) and football (assistant). He finished at PHS first as Dean of Boys, then as Assistant Principal. While in Portsmouth, he also taught physical education instruction at Ohio Univ. - Portsmouth Branch (now Shawnee State Univ.). In 1965, he became Principal at the old Dublin (Oh.) High School, and subsequently led the transition to the new high school (now Dublin Coffman). He finished in Dublin as Assistant Superintendent. In 1974, he became an on-staff consultant for the Ohio Dept. of Education, visiting, evaluating, and advising schools throughout the state that received federal aid for disadvantaged students. He retired in 1987, and was recognized for his service to education by both the Ohio and Kentucky Legislatures. Throughout his life, Smokey was active in many organizations, but particularly so in his early years with the Boy Scouts and Sea Scouts in Portsmouth, in his middle years as Secretary for the Izaak Walton League of America - Portsmouth Chapter, and in his later years with Leasure Blackston Post #239, American Legion in Worthington. He was also a member of Sunrise Masonic Lodge #783, F.& A.M.; 32nd Degree Masons, Valley of Columbus - A.A.S.R.; Aladdin Shriners where he served as President of the Aladdin Senior Shriners, and the Ohio Association of Secondary School Principal's. As a Boy Scout, he won a season pass to a Portsmouth swimming pool by winning a tomahawk throwing contest at Camp Oyo - sticking it in the target 140+ consecutive times! For relaxation and recreation, Smokey loved fishing, hunting, and gardening, all of which were passed down to him through many generations of his ancestors in western Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and southern Ohio. My father's greatest joy was taking family and friends on Canadian fishing trips. He also had a lifelong love of woodworking; he built grandfather clocks and other fine furniture and wood products. Smokey will be cremated and his remains placed at Arlington National Cemetery. A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. Saturday, March 1, 2014 at RUTHERFORD-CORBIN FUNERAL HOME, 515 High Street, Worthington, OH 43085, where family and friends may call from 1 p.m. until service time. Those wishing to honor Smokey should simply remember the old saying, "Think of me now and again as I was in life at some point it is pleasant to recall." For those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to HomeReach Hospice, OhioHealth Corporate Offices, 180 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215. To send an online condolence, please visit www.rutherfordfuneralhomes.com.


Funeral Home

Rutherford Corbin Funeral Home
515 High Street Worthington, OH 43085
614-885-4006
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Feb. 27, 2014