William “Bill” L. Gibson, age 89, died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, April 26, 2023. He was born at home in Belvidere, IL on August 31, 1933, the youngest son of Elmer and Elizabeth (Slinker) Gibson. Bill graduated from Belvidere High School in 1952 where he was an honor student and actively participated in sports and school activities. Immediately following graduation he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard where he serviced in the South Pacific. His postings included Hawaii, Guam, and Iwo Jima. He was honorably discharged in July 1960 and returned to Belvidere. He began working at Barber Colman in Rockford, Illinois and retired from there in 1993.
Bill’s life was dedicated to his family. He often traveled with his brother Robert, worked with his brother John, and cared for his parents and aunts Esther, Vera, and Carrie. Well into his 80’s he enjoyed spending time with his cousins. He was a devoted uncle to nephew John (Kris) Gibson, Jr. of Roscoe, IL and his niece Catherine (Rod) Lewis, of Rockford, and their families.
Bill was a lifelong fan of Chicago sports. He had a vinyl record and video collection that was second to none. He volunteered his time to the Belvidere Historical Society under the direction of his cousin, George Gibson. Bill never forgot the birthday or anniversary of his friends and family, sending one-of-a-kind decorated cards and envelopes. He never backed away from a debate about sports or politics. Bill found comfort in his savior Jesus through the guidance of his cousin Tom (Jane) Slinker.
Survivors include his niece Cathy (Rod), their son Josh (Stephanie) Lewis and grandchildren Isaac (Morgan), Angel, Macy, Tinley, and Sawyer of Rochelle, IL and nephew John (Kris), their daughters Hannah and Emily and grandchildren Iris and Genevieve, and numerous cousins.
The family would like to extend their gratitude to the amazing caregivers at Symphony-Maplecrest in Belvidere who showed their deep compassion and devotion to Bill during his time with them and to the wonderful staff from Sanctuary Hospice who, through their talents and kind-heartedness, gave him excellent care, dignity, and peace in his last few months. We also extend a very special thank you to Phil, who provided Bill with the encouragement to enjoy his time at Maplecrest and watched over him as only a true friend could do. To all of you, be assured that Bill was grateful and appreciated how hard you worked. His days with you were truly blessed.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the charity of your choice. Some of Bill’s favorite charities were St. Jude’s, Wounded Warriors Project, and The Nature Conservancy.
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