William Gibson

 
 
 

Obituary

On April 23, 2019 Larry Gibson of Edmonton passed away at the age of 93 years.

Larry was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and moved to Calgary with the family in 1927. He attended the Normal Practice School, King George School and Crescent Heights High School. Upon graduation he worked for Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios in Calgary for several years, taking business trips to Hollywood and meeting many movie stars of that time. He told some wonderful stories of his adventures there. Later he attended the University of Calgary, graduating in the field of Education in 1963. He then moved to Edmonton and taught at Laurier Heights Junior High School from 1964 until he retired in 1988. At Laurier Heights he “ruled the roost”, or so I was told. He taught English, was librarian, was heavily involved with the Yearbook Society, helped with school theatre productions and other school activities. When he retired, the W.L. Gibson Award for Excellence was created to honour him and his contributions to Laurier Heights School. Larry was also honoured with a lifetime membership to the Edmonton Teachers’ Association Since his retirement he was a member of the Westridge Golf Club and the Edmonton Film Society and held the position of Director of the West Edmonton Teacher’s Bowling League. In his younger years he was an avid tennis player and when he was in his late 70’s he decided to learn tap dancing. My uncle never saw age as a deterrent for anything. Larry was a great patron of live theatre and spent many happy hours at the Citadel Theatre, the Edmonton Fringe and enjoyed productions put on by many community theatre groups. He never lost his love for the movies. His knowledge of “the Golden Age of Film” was encyclopedic.

Larry also belonged to The Soldier Club and was very proud of the Soldier Christmas Trees he created for the Edmonton Festival of Trees. He had a huge display of his collectable lead soldiers in his home and when a fellow member showed him how to make toy soldiers out of clothes pins, Larry created a little business, selling them at the Old Strathcona Market. He always enjoyed visiting and being a part of the market. He loved Edmonton with its diverse community of entertainment and culture. He really enjoyed showing the city off to visitors, taking them for drives to all his special places.

One of his favourite things was running into former students or having them visit.

Any time you were out with him in Edmonton someone would come up and say, “Do you remember me, Mr. Gibson?” He remembered almost everyone, and they all gave him such praise. Larry also loved orange tiger ice cream, Belgium Waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, Werther’s butterscotch, cookies, cake and all the things a diabetic should not eat. He enjoyed cooking and baking, especially at Christmas. Another pleasure was his “balcony garden,” lovingly looked after and delighted in. Larry and his colleague/friend, Sharon Newman, exchanged ‘wacky’ Christmas gifts for years until Sharon, unfortunately, passed away. When he had his gall bladder operation, he decided to take a picture of the scar, framed it and then gave it to Sharon the following Christmas. Sharon never topped that particular ‘gift’ but she thought it was hilarious. Larry had a wonderful and sometimes, an outrageous, sense of humour.

He was very generous to his nieces and nephews, giving witty and wonderful toasts at weddings and other family events. FYI – the family always called him Lawrence. With all his many activities, Larry had a huge circle of friends that he cared about and kept in touch with over the years. One such friend was Lillian Scott, with whom he went to school with from Grades 1 through 12. They never lost touch. Imagine staying friends with someone for over 85 years.

Larry was so proud of his Scottish Heritage and being a member of the Buchanan Clan. He visited Scotland and England on many occasions and said they felt like his second home. He especially loved seeing the shows in London’s Westend.

He was predeceased by his father Bill Gibson in 1948, his mother Millie Gibson in 1977, his brother Kenneth Gibson in 1995, his sister Ruth Harris in 2004 and his niece, Sharen Feth on April 21, 2019.

He is survived by his three nieces and two nephews, David Gibson (Karen) of Victoria, B.C., Bill Gibson (Pat) of Smoky Lake, AB, Judy Hacon of Red Deer, Jane Hambly (Stuart) of Calgary and Cathy Gibson of Calgary.

He will be greatly missed by remaining family members, friends old and new, and hundreds of former students, many of whom kept in touch over the years.

At Larry’s request there will be no public funeral service. Donations in his name can be made to the Canadian Diabetic Society or the society of your choice.

In Loving Memory of
William Gibson
 
 
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