March 29, 1930 – Nov. 30, 2012
Thomas Logan Gibson Sr. passed away Nov. 30 at the age of 82. A longtime resident of the Crescenta Valley, Thomas enjoyed the neighbors and the neighborhood of his La Crescenta home. He spent the last few years at Mountview Retirement Community in Montrose. He was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Roma, in February 2012.
Born March 29 in Prosser, Neb. to Lena Jane Lidke and James Starmer Gibson, Thomas was the youngest of eight children and only 16 months old at the time of the death of his mother. His father soon suffered a nervous breakdown and the siblings were scattered among family and friends to be cared for. Thomas was taken in by his aunt Neta and her husband George Kirk who raised him as their own son. George was employed by a mining company and was sent to the Belgian Congo in central Africa where Thomas spent eight-and-a-half of his first 15 years. While there he attended boarding school, learned to speak French and Chiluba (an African dialect), swung on vines from tree to tree and swam in crocodile-infested waters much like one of his fictional childhood heroes, Tarzan.
For safety reasons they spent most of WWII in Africa returning to Nebraska upon war’s end. Thomas graduated from Hastings High School in 1948 and moved to California the same year. He enrolled in Los Angeles City College where he graduated in 1953 with an Associate in Arts degree and was soon drafted and sent to Korea.
Upon his return from service, he attended Cal State University at Los Angeles where he met Roma Gaines Burditt whom he married in 1959. He graduated from Cal State with a BA degree and a teaching credential. He began teaching at Wilson Junior High School in Glendale where he remained until his retirement in 1994.
In 1967, Thomas was legally adopted by his aunt Neta, giving him the unique distinction of being both a brother and a cousin to the children of Lena and James Gibson.
Thomas is survived by his brother James Gibson; his four children: Tom Jr., Gary, Bruce, and April Bright; and four grandchildren (and one on the way). We will miss his love of laughter, chocolate ice cream, and See’s candy (dark chocolates).
At his request, Mr. Gibson was cremated and his ashes will be scattered at the same location as his beloved wife’s.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Jan. 12, at 11 a.m. at the Montrose Church, 2409 Florencita Dr. in Montrose.