Mr. Norman "Gabby" Gibbons, 81, of Purdy, Missouri, passed away at 8:00 a.m., Monday, November 10, 2008, at his home in Purdy following sixteen years with Parkinson's disease. He was born August 29, 1927, in Granby, Missouri the son of the late Charles and Rachel (Marllowe) Gibbons.
He is survived by his wife of fifty-nine years, Dorothy Stebler Gibbons, of Purdy; four children: Michelle Deney, husband Joel, and children, Zach and Isaac, of Columbia, Missouri; Rene' Jager, husband Steve, and son Michael, of Springfield, Missouri; Jana Garritson, husband Aaron "Goose", and children, Lucas and Austin of Joplin, Missouri; and Rick, of Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also survived by two sisters: P.J. Jones, of Tiburon, California, and Nancy Mills, husband, Don, of Springfield, Missouri; as well as his Aunt Agnes Johnson (92) of Modesto, California; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Gabby was a 1945 graduate of Purdy High School and never lost his love for the school. He and Dorothy attended all school activities regularly with basketball and volleyball being their favorites. After graduation from high school, Gabby enlisted in the Army Air Force and served most of his time in Japan, with an occupation division. Following his discharge, he went to Drury College and gradated in 1950, earning a BS degree in education with an emphasis in P.E., Science, and Math. In October 1949, he and Dorothy were married and have resided in Purdy since that time. Later, he received his Masters and Specialists degrees in Educational Administration. He taught physical education, math, science, and health at Purdy, Southwest of Washburn, and East Newton School Districts from 1950-1956 and 1975-1989. He also coached basketball and volleyball and touched the lives of many, many students.
In 1956, he left education and he and Dorothy purchased the Purdy Telephone Company. Later they acquired Fairview, Stark City, Wheaton, and Verona telephone exchanges where he changed the telephone system from Switchboards to direct dial for the whole region. They sold the telephone company in 1971, and he returned to coaching.
Gabby was a lifelong member of the First Christian Church where he was a board member, elder, and Sunday school teacher.
Some of Gabby's favorite hobbies included collecting and listening to jazz music, flying his airplane, playing basketball, and working with children.
Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m., Friday, November 14, 2008 at Bennett-Wormington, Monett. Burial will be in Purdy Cemetery. Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m. till 8:00 p.m., Thursday, November 13, 2008 at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers memorial may be made to National Parkinson Foundation, First Christian Church of Purdy, or Community Hospice of Monett in care of the funeral home.
On line condolences can be made at: www.bennettwormington.com
Arrangements are under the care of Bennett-Wormington Funeral Home Monett, Missouri. Paid