Valencia Joan Gibson (nee Boschert) was born at home on September 3, 1922, in Kansas City, Missouri, a daughter of Samuel James Boschert and Margaret L. Boschert (nee Tabuas). She took her last breaths on September 17, 2020, in Edmond, OK, having celebrated her 98th birthday two weeks prior.
Joan attended North Kansas City High School where she was a cheerleader for the "Hornets" and graduated at 16. She stayed in touch with a core group of friends from high school, traveling back to Kansas City for lunch during the summer well into her 80s. Upon graduation, she used her amazing secretarial skills to support herself – first at a wholesale coat factory where she took shorthand, answered phones and modeled the various lines of coats for potential customers. A new job at Brandt & Puritz followed and then she worked for the Boy Scouts of America.
On May 16, 1942, she married William Kohr Gibson in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Kansas City, Mo. After a honeymoon to New Orleans, she returned to Kansas City and worked for TWA while Bill was serving with the United States Navy. When he was assigned to ships operating out of Miami, FL., she moved there working for Pan American Airways establishing a lifelong friendship with Libby and Frank Pace of Somerville, NJ.
When the war ended, Jo (as Bill always addressed her) and Bill returned to Kansas City for him to finish law school. On assignment for a Kansas City law firm, Bill tried a case in Sedalia, MO., and moved his family there in 1947 to join an established local law firm. While their family grew, Jo was a truly energetic, enthusiastic and devoted wife and mother who maintained a clean, loving and safe environment for her family and guests. She was fond of saying "do it correctly the first time and you will not have to do it again." Until the Gibsons were able to afford an automobile, Jo walked and took a bus to grocery shop and attend Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
While her daughters were in elementary and high school, Jo proved to be a great neighbor and loved to do things for others. She and Bill were active socially at the Sedalia Country Club and in a number of bridge groups. Jo was an accomplished bridge player, member of a garden club, member of a women's club "Sorosis" where she served as Program Chairperson and a term as President. Although she never learned to swim, she made certain her daughters had lessons and later attended and cheered for them when they participated in summer swim meets.
Her interest in her family continued when sons-in-law and grandchildren arrived. Jo and Bill often united the entire family in Sanibel Island, FL. They traveled to the homes of her daughters and sons-in-law to witness the activities of their grandchildren. Jo taught a granddaughter how to knit and how to drive a stick shift. She was very proud to be present at both the high school and college graduations of all five grandchildren.
After her daughters headed to college Jo worked for the Extension Division of the University of Missouri and later at Triple AAA WorldWide Travel, assisting customers for business or leisure travel. Jo and Bill were able to travel both domestically and internationally, often with their good friends Marjorie and Bob Uhr of Sedalia, MO.
Three years after the death of her husband in 2006, after 64 years of a loving and faithful marriage, Jo sold the home she and Bill built in the Country Club Addition in Sedalia, MO. She moved to Touchmark at Coffee Creek in Edmond, Oklahoma and again became known as Joan. It did not take long for her to make a new circle of friends. Joan joined the chimes group and worked very hard to be ready for their performances. She served on the Resident's Council, participated in crafts, and religiously used exercise equipment. She was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.
Joan was predeceased by her parents and siblings Samuel James Boschert (Eileen); Marguerite Turner, and Norman Andre Boschert.
Survivors include Kathryn Gibson Brandt (Richard) of Sewickley, PA, Martha Gibson Gilliland (Hugh) of Edmond, OK, Marilyn Gibson Rainwater (Ben) of Atlanta, GA. Also grandchildren C. Ben Rainwater III (Jill) of Okemos, MI; Matthew Gibson Rainwater of Del Ray Beach, FL, Meredith (Muffy) Brandt of Providence, RI., Mary Catherine Gilliland of Denver, CO., Thomas Robert Gilliland (Kathryn) of Oakland, CA.
Additionally, Joan has three great-grandchildren: Bailey Elizabeth Rainwater and Wyatt Paxton Rainwater of Okemos, MI and Chase Gibson Rainwater of Del Ray Beach, FL.
Jo made a Gift of Body to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Norman, OK. Memorial details are not available at this time. The family is very grateful to Father Anthony Ram for his anointing before her death.
Published in SedaliaDemocrat.com from Oct. 3 to Oct. 4, 2020.