Roy Ralph Gibson, age 96, of Kearns, Utah, passed away on May 21, 2022, reuniting with his beloved wife, Eldora and daughter, Abbie.
Roy came as an early Christmas gift to his parents and older brother by being born on December 20, 1925 to Charles Elias and Addie Hess Gibson of Alamosa, Colorado. Two years later his younger brother, Howard, was born.
In July of 1930, as they were anticipating another addition to their family, tragedy struck. Roy’s brother, Charles, came down with diphtheria and passed away. A few days later, the baby girl was delivered stillborn and later that same month, his mother passed away due to complications from childbirth.
The following year, Roy’s father married a widow with two children of her own and they went on to add additional children to the family.
Roy left school at the age of 16 and he and Howard moved out on their own, working to support themselves and allowing Howard to finish school.
By that time, World War II was in full swing and, facing the draft as he turned 18, Roy enlisted in the Army. He was assigned to the European Theater and did his training at Camp Roberts in California. Until that time, he had gone by his middle name Ralph, but the military insisted he go by his first name. From that time on, most people knew him as, and called him, Roy.
While serving in the military, Roy was injured and received the Purple Heart. He carried a piece of shrapnel in his nose from that injury for the rest of his life.
Growing up, he had been baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. However, church attendance in his youth had been infrequent. After returning from military service and finding his brother had married in his absence, he worked in the Alamosa area until his uncle asked him to take him to Salt Lake for the Centennial Celebration in 1947. While there, they visited his Uncle Clifford’s family and they invited him to live with them.
He returned to Alamosa long enough to wrap things up and load up his belongings. He returned to Salt Lake City, where he became active in the church, and in 1950, he received a call to serve as a missionary in the Danish Mission for 2 1/2 years.
While Roy was on his mission, his Aunt Birdie suggested that her stake mission companion, Eldora Venema, write to him. She eventually did so and they wrote back and forth for the duration of his mission.
Six weeks after his return, and their official meeting, he asked Eldora to marry him, and on April 13th, 1953, they were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple for time and eternity.
About seven months later, they purchased their home in Kearns and started their family. They were blessed with eight children – five boys and three girls. Unfortunately, their second daughter Alberta (Abbie) was born with a heart defect and only lived 10 short weeks.
Roy worked many jobs over the years, including dry cleaner, dynamite truck driver, milk delivery, and eventually spent the majority of his career working as a machinist for Chicago Bridge and Iron.
The things that were most important to him were his family and his service to the Lord. Over the years, he served in many positions such as Seventy, High Counselor, High Priest Group Leadership, Bishoprics and Scout Master. All five of his sons earned their Eagle Scout award, although that could likely be attributed more to their mother’s efforts. He and Eldora sent all five of their boys on missions and all seven of their children have been through and married in the temple.
In 1983, Roy was forced into medical retirement due to macular degeneration. This crushed his dream of traveling around to see the country after he retired. However, he didn’t let his poor vision stop him, and during the following 10 years, he built a garage and added onto their home in order to provide a gathering space for their large family.
He loved fishing and being outdoors. Family vacations were most often spent camping and fishing.
Over the years, Roy and Eldora welcomed and cared for several family members including: Eldora’s mother, who lived with them from 1985 until her death in 1996; Roy’s sister, Beverly; grandchildren and at least one nephew.
Roy is survived by his sister, Beverly Gibson, and children – Royce (Dawn), Kent (Janelle), Laine (Julie), Ladora (Steve) Langford, Rodney (Marian), Jerry (Michele), Maureen (Scott) Larsen, and an extensive posterity of 42 grandchildren, 63 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great grandchildren.
We are exceedingly grateful for the care Ladora and her family have provided to our parents, fulfilling their wish to remain in their home until their passing.
A viewing will be held Friday, June 3, 2022 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at 4605 West Pointe Drive, West Valley City, Utah. The following day, a viewing will be held at 10:00 AM with a funeral service at 11:00 AM at the same location. Interment to follow funeral services at the Valley View Memorial Park, 4335 West 4100 South, West Valley City, Utah.