Tributes for

Gibson, Francis Lee "Frank"

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Francis (Frank) Lee Gibson was born April 1st 1939 in Bellaire, Ohio to parents James and Anna Gibson. His parents shaped his extraordinary life; his Father James was killed in a Powhatan Mine fire when he was 5 years old – his mother Anna was a school teacher for 46 years at Glencoe Elementary.

He attended Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Ohio where he excelled as a student and all-around athlete in which he received 9 letters (3 in football, basketball, and track) and is a member of the Ohio High School Football Hall of Fame. Very few of his peers escaped the coal mines and steel mills of Eastern Ohio.

He then attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, a decision that would forever shape his life and one that he cherished deeply. While at West Point he starred in Baseball and Football. He was on the last undefeated football team in 1958, 3-year letterman and was the Co-Captain of the 1961 football team. In 1961, Frank graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He completed his education with a Master's degree from Georgia Tech.

After graduation, his Army career was "Second to None". He attended Airborne and Ranger training before being called to Vietnam in 1966. He was an Airborne Ranger with the 101st Airborne unit, commanded a company in Vietnam, commanded battalions in Vietnam and Korea. He also taught at the Command and General Staff College, Pentagon and Bethesda Think Tank as well as did two coaching tours on the West Point Football Staff over his 20 years of service in the Military. He was a Decorated Officer, being awarded the LEGION OF MERIT, BRONZE STAR MEDAL (2), MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL, AIR MEDAL, JOINT SERVICE COMMENDATION MEDAL, ARMY COMMENDATION MEDAL, NATIONAL DEFENSE SEVICE MEDAL, VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL (7 CAMPAIGNS), REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM CAMPAIGN MEDAL, PARACHUTIST BADGE, MERITORIOUS UNIT COMMENDATION, VIETNAM CROSS OF GALLANTRY W/ PALM W/ GOLD STAR, RANGER TAB.

He married the love of his life, Barbara Ann Tanis from New Jersey, whom he met on a blind date; they have been married for 52 years. After many military assignments they eventually settled with their three children in 1981 in Orange, California. He was a successful Real Estate and Mortgage Broker. His three sons played football, University of Arizona and University of Southern California, Frank and Barbara traveled coast to coast never missing a game.

In 2010, Frank and Barbara moved to Tustin, California where he lived the remainder of his life. He loved to give back to the community which was so great to him. He was a mentor at the Combat Veterans Superior Court of Orange County and was the founder of the military veteran’s support group at Trinity Presbyterian Church.

Frank was larger than life. He was a loyal and loving husband, supportive and caring father, and was his grandchildren’s favorite person, their Papa or Papa Hooty. He found extreme Joy in all ten of them. He was a family man with great integrity above and beyond everything else.

He loved GOD. He loved duck hunting and fishing with the "Judge" and his many pals. He was always decked out with his favorite camouflage from head to toe. He loved his football; ARMY football (and the reunions), Wildcat football, Trojan football, Vanguard football and going to Orange County High School games, he insisted on being on the sidelines where everyone loved saying hello. He loved going to his 10 grandchildren’s sporting events, basketball, football, soccer, volleyball etc. whatever sport he loved spending time with them. He loved to golf with his many friends and church group. All those that knew him loved him. He loved his many Labrador retrievers. He loved to entertain his friends and family – BBQ Ribs were his specialty. He was generous, kind and a great man of character. He was happy. He had a blessed life and was loved dearly. The world is a smaller place without him.

Frank will be tremendously missed by his family and friends, but he will never be forgotten, his Legacy will be felt forever and ever. He was our HERO.

Frank is survived by his wife, Barbara Gibson, his children; Francis Gibson Jr. (Kimberly), Donald Gibson (Gaylen) and Craig Gibson (Ellen), his grandchildren; Hayden, Gabrielle, Gunner, Kate, Sara, Anne, Charleigh, Thomas, Rylee and Reagan, his brother James (Iola) and by his uncle Edward Bostancic (95).

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Frank’s memory be sent to West Point Association of Graduates – Friends of Army Football, memory of Frank Gibson, 698 Mills Road West Point, NY 10996 or Orange County Veteran’s Court – Collaborative Courts FDT P.O. Box 633 Laguna Beach, CA 92652 – in Memory of Frank Gibson


Mortuary: Brown Colonial Mortuary

Florist: Aladdin Florist