James Morley Gibson Sr. will be remembered as a big man with a big personality. Jim passed away December 7, just days from his 89th birthday, which gives us pause to celebrate the many years he has shared with us. Jim was born December 16, 1931 in Glendale to Carl and Cleo Gibson. Jim was the younger of two children and was preceded in death by his elder brother, Carl Reeves Gibson Jr.
On July 26, 1952, Jim married the love of his life, Joyce Marie Petersen, whom he had met at Burbank High School. They were married and lived in Burbank for 51 years before she preceded him in death on May 27, 2003. Jim and Joyce are survived by their three children and spouses: Jim M. Gibson Jr. and wife Anne, Julie Kropf and husband Russ, and Janis Dickey and husband Brad; their six grandchildren: Carrie Hibbard and husband Don, Kristy Willer and husband John, Jennifer and Jaqi Gibson, Kyle Dickey and wife Megan, and Emily Dickey; and their two great-grandchildren, Tim and Brandice Hibbard.
In 1953 and 1954, Jim served as a Sergeant in the Army’s 38th Infantry Regiment during active duty in Korea, earning a Purple Heart, following a celebrated football career at Burbank High School, Glendale College, USC and with the Army; even receiving an invitation to play professional football with the N.Y. Giants.
]Jim was a lifelong fan of USC football, a team he once called home as offensive tackle number 55. What few knew about Jim was that he was destined to be a member of the USC family; his middle name, Morley, was given to him honoring the famous 1925 running back Morley Drury. If Jim was not watching USC football, he could be found in his recliner watching golf, basketball and other sports.
Jim had a successful 40-year career with the city of Burbank as a police officer. He graduated from the academy in 1955 and rose through the ranks in the Burbank Police Department from patrolman to investigator, detective, sergeant, lieutenant and eventually to Captain of the BPD before his retirement in January 1995.
Jim and Joyce enjoyed the small-town feel of Burbank, the city in which they raised their family. Jim was a member of the Burbank Noon Kiwanis club, where he served as club president in 1989-90, as Lt. Governor of Division 16 in 1992-93 and was named Kiwanian of the year in 1996.
Jim was an avid golfer and loved to hit the links with friends and his son-in-law Brad. As a young officer Jim played basketball with the BPOA and as his family grew he transferred his love of basketball to watching his grandchildren Jaqi and Kyle play, practically never missing a game.
Jim enjoyed traveling. He and Joyce loved to visit the National Parks and traversed the United States in their motor home several times. As a young family, Jim, Joyce and children would spend summer vacations camping at the beach or at the family’s favorite, Lake Tahoe. As empty nesters Jim and Joyce continued to camp with their Lazydays club or vacation at San Clemente at their timeshare.
Jim will be missed by many but never forgotten by his family and friends who will remember a serious man who could make you laugh with his silly antics. Farewell and Godspeed, Jim.
Condolences can be sent to “Gibson” at 2011 Jamestown Way, Oxnard, CA 93035 or posted to http://obituaries.neptunesociety.com/obituaries/9935397.