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Life Story / Obituary
A stranger to none and a friend of many, Bill Gibson lived with a smile on his face and with his great sense of humor; others were drawn to his positive and easygoing nature. Bill could talk to anyone, anywhere and at any time. He was just that type of fellow whose personable nature was enjoyed by everyone he encountered. If there was a good time to be had, Bill was sure to be there. A spirited mentor not only to his family, he was a tried and true friend. Supportive in many ways, he influenced those around him with a compassionate and caring heart. Gone yet never to be forgotten, the memories Bill leaves behind will remain a treasure.
Bill’s story began at a time when families began thriving and experiencing the American dream. The end of the Korean War, more and more families were moving their lifestyles to the suburbs all while enjoying an age of innocence. By 1953, local unions gathered strength in numbers in the work force while many advances were made in the field of medicine. It was an exciting year altogether, especially in the lives of the late Thomas and Florence (Law) Gibson when on July 8, 1953, they welcomed the birth of their son, William “Bill” Gibson into their arms.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, the Gibson family made their home there, where Bill grew up the youngest of five children. The brunt of many jokes, his three older brothers, Thomas, Bob, and Richard quite often picked on Bill while his older sister, Jeanne frequently came to his aid. Perhaps this is the reason Bill came to have such a great sense of humor as he took it, for the most part, all in stride. Bill’s father worked for a tool and die company before landing a job with the Ford Motor Company. His mother, a homemaker, had her hands full with her thriving family. Devout to their Catholic faith, they were members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Redford where young Bill made his Holy Sacraments.
Bill attended the Detroit Catholic Schools where he met his best, longtime friend, Tom Hurley in the fifth grade. He played basketball in the ninth grade, and always a big golf buff, he even created the golf club at school. During his youth, Bill, along with his brothers were known in Detroit as the infamous “Gibson Boys”. He and his good friend, Tom found their share of mischief and fun-filled adventures, too. After high school, Bill went on to attend Eastern Michigan University where he graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
As fate would have it, Bill took a job working for a shoe company that sent him to California. It was there where Bill met the love of his life, Norma Najar. Once he spotted Norma, Bill was determined to meet her and ended up hiring her to work for the shoe company. The two began dating and after falling deeply in love, they were happily married on October 11, 1988 in Nevada. Family life suited Bill quite well, especially when he became the father of their two fine sons, Cole and Erik.
Ever proud of his boys, Bill was always there for them and supported them in each of their endeavors. By way of example, he served his sons well as a man of integrity with a strong work ethic. His positive demeanor was always an affirming influence in their lives as well as those around him. Bill was a member of the Knights of Columbus and he was also on several golf leagues throughout the years and golfed whenever he had the opportunity.
In 1997, Bill and Norma moved to Michigan where it felt good to be near family. Bill’s brother Tom owned Crooked Lake Market and they lived there for five months before settling into a place of their own. In 2002, they made the Lawton area their home. Although he loved Norma’s cooking, Bill had a sweet tooth that just wouldn’t quit. He particularly relished and loved dollar beer nights and every now and then Bill could be found indulging from his stash of candy or candy bars and was always quick to share.
Besides golf, there were many things Bill enjoyed. A huge Detroit Tiger’s fan, he liked attending baseball games and watching sports on TV, especially when the University of Michigan played. When it came to music he preferred classic rock and he was a big Beatles fan. In his free time, Bill enjoyed hanging out with friends and family at D Coy Ducks in Lawton. For a time he was a member of the Knights of Columbus in Detroit. Bill had a love for people watching which found him learning much about people in general, and of course, he found the humor in it, as well! He was a big Keno player, grilling out was always enjoyable for Bill and he actually liked mowing his lawn! In addition, Bill was quite a storyteller which was always filled with embellishments. When he and his brothers got together, they often shared stories which no less would build into something larger than life and time after time, the same stories!
Spending time with friends was important to Bill. He was blessed with many whom he shared the best of times. Always up for a great time or an adventure or two, Bill was often the life of the party. He always had a smile on his face, and through his fun loving yet level headed ways, he was not only a well-respected friend, but a mentor to them. Outgoing and very approachable, Bill could strike up a conversation with anyone. He loved hanging out with his family who brought him the greatest joy. Bill was simply content sharing the company of those he loved and cared about, his family and close friends.
There was no one quite like Bill Gibson. With ways all his own, he endeared himself towards others and made a positive influence in the lives around him. Always a very positive man, yet even when he was so very ill he never hesitated to ask how others were doing. He never ceased in placing the needs of others over his own, and when he was sick it was no different. Deeply missed, Bill will be forever remembered in the hearts of many.
William “Bill” Gibson, age 65, of Lawton, passed away Monday, August 20, 2018. He is survived by his wife, Norma (Najar); sons: Cole (Erica Vrhel) and Erik (Bethany); siblings: Jeanne (Tom) Olsen, Bob (Molly), Richard (Vicki); many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Thomas in 2002. Visit with Bill’s family and friends on Thursday, August 23, 4-7 pm at the Betzler Thompson Life Story Funeral Home where services will be held Friday, August 24, 11:00 am. Please visit Bill’s personal memory page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com where you can share a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Wings of Hope Hospice or to the American Heart Association.