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Robert D. Gibson


1925 - 2018
Robert D. Gibson Obituary
Robert D. GibsonPharm D

July 2, 1925 - July 19, 2018

When Bob (Gib) Gibson died in his sleep early in the morning of July 19, 2018 at age 93, he left behind a large, grieving family, thousands of friends and admirers around the world and a rich legacy of accomplishments and contributions to the profession of pharmacy, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and society at large.
Born in Tacoma, Washington, he was a student at University of Oregon (UofO) when he was drafted into a segregated US Army during World War II. At war's end, he returned to UofO and graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry in 1949.
He continued his education at the UCSF School of Pharmacy, ultimately earning a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 1958, a move that would forever change his life and the lives of countless others.
Initially a staff pharmacist at UCSF, Bob joined the School of Pharmacy faculty in the 1960s and progressed through a series of positions, including clinical professor, associate dean for student affairs and UCSF's associate vice chancellor, student and academic affairs.
A warm, vibrant and sincere person, Bob was a gifted speaker whose sonorous voice became an endearing trademark, as was the humor that he always interwove into his many public presentations. He was also a humble man who never forgot his origins. When acknowledging those who had helped him on his long journey, he often said "When you see a turtle on a fencepost, you know it didn't get there by itself."
In the early 1960s, he took on a life-long, nationwide mission of forcing the profession of pharmacy to confront the relative lack of minority practitioners within its ranks. As a result, minority student recruitment—and graduations—
increased radically. As Jere E. Goyan, former commissioner for the USA Food & Drug Administration once said, "Thousands of minority pharmacists—and their patients, too—owe a debt of gratitude to the eloquence and consciousness-raising persistence of Bob Gibson." His successes in this regard played a major role in the many awards he received.
Bob was one of the profession of pharmacy's most revered practitioners, having over the course of his career served as president of both the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and receiving more than twenty awards including a Fulbright/Hayes Scholarship, honorary doctorates from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Xavier University, the UCSF Pharmacy Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award, and the 2006 Remington Honor Medal of the APhA, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an American pharmacist.
Survived by his wife, Linda of 24 years, his sister, Jacqueline Branch, his children Dana, Debra, Barton, Todd, Kim and Cassandra, his grandchildren Darren, Greyson, Brandon and Mitra, nephew Ron Branch, 4 great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild. His family thanks the staff at Hospice of Petaluma, Mary and Dan the Nurse.
A celebration of his life is being planned. The family requests no flowers, but asks that contributions be made to UCSF School of Pharmacy and Hospice of Petaluma.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on July 29, 2018
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