Don Alan Gibbons passed away on Thursday April 15th, 2021 aged eighty-three years old.
Don was born in Douglas, Arizona on December 9th, 1937 to Ralph and Mary Gibbons; the youngest of four. In the fifties the family moved to Tempe where he graduated high school in 1956. He briefly studied engineering at Arizona State University before his attention was drawn away to Payson where he met his wife to be, Dorothy Johnsrud. Don and Dorothy were married in 1959. They later moved to Ehrenberg where he worked as an Agricultural Inspector. While in Ehrenberg their son Don (Pete) and daughter Pam were born. The family moved around southern Arizona several more times. In 1979 he moved to Farmington, New Mexico where we worked until retirement.
Don was an exceptional craftsman. He had an eye for detail and the needed patience for intricate work that is increasingly uncommon today. In the early days of his marriage he made ends meet with his leather work crafting belts, saddles and logbooks for truckers. Above all talents, he excelled as a woodworker. He held himself to a high standard for all his work and only the best would do. His wood shop at the back of their home in Farmington was one of his favorite places. He loved working on his lathe and made Christmas ornaments and intricate wooden bowls. He built all types of furniture over the years always of the finest quality. He enjoyed working on projects with his grandchildren; from minuscule wooden chess pieces to tables. The question "Is it smooth enough Papa?" and then the answer "No, not yet, keep sanding" was repeated many times while working on projects with them over the years.
He was a keen reader and loved western novels; Lonesome Dove was his favorite. Few people knew or enjoyed Mexican food more. Although, on his birthday it always had to be Swiss Steak and German Chocolate cake for dessert. He was an avid, albeit strict, poker player. This was just for fun and always the activity of choice for get-togethers. He also loved to tell stories of his childhood and the Old West. He loved his dogs Ticker, Taco, Bonnie and Clyde, Jojo and Kizzy. He had a great smile that could light up a room. As a man, he was there when you needed him; kind and faithful, honest, loving and accepting. Above all, he cared for his family. He loved and adored his wife Dorothy. He was proud of his two children. He was dedicated to them and delighted in spending time with them, whether it was just across town or across the country. He loved his five grandchildren. He passed on to them his work ethic, his devotion to family, his love of the outdoors and his passion for making things. He was a loving husband, tender and caring Daddy and a much admired and much loved Papa. He is and will be greatly missed.
He is preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Mary Gibbons, his older brother Ralph (Bud) Gibbons, and his older sisters Mary Beth Whitlow and Phyllis Campbell. He is survived by Dorothy Gibbons his beloved wife of sixty-two years; his son Don (Pete) Alan Gibbons Jr. of Carthage, North Carolina, his daughter Pam Markle of Farmington, New Mexico and his five grandchildren: Clay, Addie, Sam, Ashley and Tanner along with eleven great-grandchildren with one more soon to arrive.
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