John Gibbons

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

SHELL KNOB, Mo. -- John E. Gibbons, 76, of Shell Knob died Friday, Dec. 28, 2007, at the Veterans Hospital in Little Rock, Ark., following a brief illness.

Gibbons was born May 16, 1931, in Chicago, son of Martin and Bridgett Kelly Gibbons. He and Chloe Kassel Dietz were married May 27, 1978, in Shell Knob.

He was a U.S. Navy veteran, having served in Japan during the Korean War on the flagship USS Hector. At the peace signing, he represented the U.S. government in facilitating the transfer of the papers of the war dead. He received the United Nations Service Medal and the Korean Service Medal.

Gibbons then lived in Lindenhurst, Ill., and was a salesman with McGee janitorial and chemical supplies, before moving to Shell Knob in 1978. He and his wife owned and operated San Rene Resort on Kings River until they sold it in 1989.

He was instrumental in the formation of Shell Knob Chamber of Commerce and the Central Crossing Fire District. He was a former Barry County road commissioner, a member of American Legion Post 788 and Lions Club.

Gibbons and his wife were involved with the McMaster Solar Project and participated in the Chicago to Los Angeles American Solar Challenge in 2001, 2003 and 2005.

Survivors include his wife; a son, Kevin Gibbons of Lindenhurst; three daughters, Kelly Benedict of Willis, Texas, Susan Ommen of Schaumburg, Ill., Sharon Schott of New Braunfels, Texas; three stepsons, Dirk Dietz of St. Louis, Drew Dietz of Jackson, Drake Dietz of Bloomington, Minn.; 12 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a son and a grandson.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today at Central Community Methodist Church, with the Rev. Judith Lloyd officiating.

White Funeral Home in Cassville, Mo., is in charge of arrangements.