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Obituary-Samuel Gibbons



Samuel Howard Gibbons, age 95, passed away Monday, March 22, 2010, at his home. Gibbons was born in Calera, Ala., on Nov. 3, 1914 to S. Howard and Laura Johnson Gibbons. He graduated from Alabama Polytechnic Institute in Auburn with a degree in landscape architecture in 1937. He lived in Athens for over 50 years, moving from Lewisburg, Tenn., where he operated Murray Farm.

Gibbons retired in 1984 as marketing manager of ConAgra Poultry. He was a member of the Alabama Poultry Hall of Fame. For 36 years, he was the manager of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, Tenn. He was also a member of the Celebration Hall of Fame and a member of the First United Methodist Church of Athens where he was a long time member of the Board of Trustees and former Finance Chairman.

He was a veteran of World War II where he fought across Europe with the 79th Division. He received a Bronze Star for valor along with distinguished citations and other awards. He held the rank of lieutenant colonel when he left the army. He was a director and former treasurer of the Alabama Veteran Museum and Archives in Athens.

Gibbons served as volunteer coordinator of Limestone County income tax program for the low income and elderly since 1986. Under his leadership, recruitment of the male professional volunteers, and oversight, the program is now in its 24th year of tax preparation for more than 1,500 needy individuals annually in two counties working five days a week throughout the tax season. In addition to tax preparation, Gibbons began the volunteer program at the local State Health Department office. Once again, under Gibbons's leadership, male professional volunteers were recruited to work one day a week at the local office assisting with immunizations, flu shots, sex education literature and well baby clinics.

Gibbons has been recognized by the Athens, Alabama Chamber of Commerce as Citizen of the Year. He was a man of integrity, high moral values, and a committed volunteer to his community, state and country. He remained active in the community until his death.

Gibbons was preceded in death by his parents, a brother and three sisters. He leaves behind his wife of 68 years, Fern Howell Gibbons; son and daughter-in-law Howard and Kris Gibbons of Shelbyville, Ky.; two sisters, Laura Schwarz, Blairsville, Ga., and Katherine Ott, Waterloo, Iowa; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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