SPARTANBURG, SC- David Lawrence Gibson, 68, husband of Nancy R. Gibson, died Friday, November 22 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
Born in Raleigh, N.C. on February 8, 1951, he grew up in Charlotte and Huntersville, N. C. and was a graduate of North Mecklenburg High School. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in mathematics from Furman University in 1973 and earned his M.S. in mathematics from the University of Tennessee in 1975. He taught mathematics at Spartanburg Methodist College for 44 years until he was forced to leave because of illness. At that time, the SMC faculty awarded him the honorary distinction of Professor Emeritus. He also taught as an adjunct professor in the graduate summer program at Converse College for 31 years. David loved and was loved by his students, always encouraging them to strive for excellence while keeping them entertained with his wit and sometimes corny humor.
He was an avid tournament Scrabble player having won two national championships (1994 and 2016) as well as the Superstar Showdown and the Scrabble All Stars Championship, which led to appearances in "Sports Illustrated" and on national early morning television. At the time of his death, he was the highest rated Scrabble player in North America with a rating of 2200. The Scrabble community coined a word "Gibsonized" after him to indicate having clinched a tournament title before the tournament was over. David's other avocation was music. He was a gifted pianist and composed numerous original songs. During a four year hiatus from his Scrabble playing, he wrote music and some of the words to over 100 songs. He was also a sports enthusiast as a spectator (football, baseball, basketball and golf) and as a participant (tennis, golf, including miniature golf, and croquet).
David was a kind, generous, thoughtful, and humble man. He will be sorely missed and the world is diminished by his passing. In addition to his loving and beloved wife, he is survived by his parents, John and Gloria Gibson of Huntersville N.C.; sisters, Dayle G. Page (Frank) of Taylors, and Joan G. Randolph (Steve) of Gastonia, N.C.; stepsons, Christopher Webb (Lee) of Columbia and Patrick Webb (Linda) of Collierville TN.; nieces, Laura Brammer (Ben) of Anderson and Allison Scott (Jon) of Greenville; and nephew, John Randolph (Kristie) of Goldsboro, NC.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 30th, 11AM at Saint Christopher's Episcopal Church, Spartanburg, followed by a reception in the parish hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in David's honor to Spartanburg Methodist College, 1000 Powell Mill Rd., Spartanburg, S.C 29301, toward a scholarship in mathematics.
The family would like to thank the staff at Spartanburg Regional Hospice Home for the excellent care and compassion shown to David and his family in his final days.
Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.JMDunbar.com.
Dunbar Funeral Home & Crematory