Kodiak, AK Lodge News

AK WEST
District No. 0340

John Gibbons ,remembered

Anchorage resident John Gibbons, 97, died April 8, 2009, at the Anchorage Pioneer Home. A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Evergreen Memorial Chapel, 737 E St. John A. Gibbons was born Feb. 9, 1912, to Edward F. and Viola Gibbons at Corral, Idaho, and raised on a horse and cattle ranch. During the 1930s, he performed in rodeos, worked in movies as a stunt man for the likes of Randolph Scott and worked construction. In the spring of 1941, he married actress Margaret Hansford Lightfoot and in July of that year came to Kodiak under contract with Siems, Drake Puget Sound Naval Contractors, building the Kodiak Naval Air Station. In early 1943, he was transferred to Fort Greely as supervisor of utilities. In 1944, he was transferred and placed on special duty with the Alaskan Command located at Anchorage, Fairbanks, and several other places. In the winter of 1946, he returned to Kodiak and formed a construction company and later owned several businesses. In the late '40s, he helped form the Kodiak Health and Welfare Council and he served as chairman for several years. During the early '50s, he served two terms as president of the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce and during that time started the Kodiak King Crab Festival. In 1955, he was elected exalted ruler of Kodiak Elks Lodge #1772, and in 1957 was elected president of the Alaska Territorial Elks Association. From 1958 to 1962, he worked as an engineer for Wakefield Fisheries building king crab plants at several sites in Alaska. In 1960, Gov. William Egan appointed John to the state Commission of Economic Development where he served four years. At about that time, he was elected to the first Board of Directors of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, where he served as a director at large for five years. Margaret's health problems caused them to move to Anchorage, although he continued to work in Kodiak and other locations. He had been elected to the Greater Anchorage Inc. while still living in Kodiak and served on its executive board for about 10 years. In 1962, he was employed by Alaska Airlines to conduct a survey of backhaul potential from Western Alaska. For several years, he worked for Rothwell Tug and Barge and Anchorage Community College. From 1969 to 1985, John worked for Reynolds Equipment Co. of Anchorage as sales engineer, crane and tower inspector, wirerope and cordage splicer and in public relations. During this period and until 1976, he served on the State of Alaska Bi-Centennial Commission. After 1985, and in semi-retirement, he worked as a rigging consultant, specializing in heavy lifts and ocean mooring systems. John's wife, Margie died on Sept. 23, 1989, after 45 years of marriage. He survived the rigors of open heart surgery in 2004, but the old body was just plain tired and he wanted to go home to his God and "Margie." In February of 1990, he moved into the Anchorage Pioneer Home and was very instrumental in helping to make senior life in Anchorage a little bit easier, where possible. Survivors include his brother, Don Gibbons of Jerome, Idaho; his nieces, Christine McPike of Payette, Idaho and Margo (Archibald) Lee of Monroe, La. He was a champion at getting things done and knew the people to help him do things. Arrangements are with Janssen's Evergreen Memorial Chapel.


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