Gene R. Gibson

Born: Mon., May 6, 1946
Died: Wed., Jan. 27, 2010

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Gene Gibson passed away on Wednesday, January 27, 2010 in McAllen, TX from a hemorrhagic stroke. Gene Richard Gibson was born on May 6, 1946 in St. Paul, MN. He graduated from Chisago City High School in Chisago City, MN in 1964. On October 2, 1966, Gene was united in marriage to Rhea Hoff in Chisago City, MN. Gene graduated with a teaching degree from UW-River Falls in 1981 before beginning a 27-year career teaching Social Studies/History at New Lisbon High School in New Lisbon, WI. In 1994 Gene received his Master's Degree in History from UW-River Falls. Gene retired from teaching following the 2008-09 school year. Gene enjoyed gardening, playing cards and Wii and traveling with Rhea. In his younger years he enjoyed playing baseball and softball. He also has been known to play practical jokes on students and friends. Gene is preceded in death by his mother Kathryn, father Eugene, and brothers Johnny and Jim. He is survived by his wife Rhea, daughter Kari of Mauston, sons Gene (Connie) of Colfax, WI, Shane (Linda) of Baraboo,WI, and Chad (Jody) of Spooner,WI, 8 grandchildren, sisters Linda (Mike) Neuman, Joyce (Jerry) Rogers, Sherry Gibson, and Ramona Dittmer, and brothers Mark (Shari) and Gary. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Hare Funeral Home, New Lisbon, WI. Visitation will be held on Sunday, January 31 at the New Lisbon High School from 1:00pm till 5:00pm with the funeral service to start at 5:00pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate your time or money to a community event or charity of your choice in his memory. Online guest book and condolences available at

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Alice andFred Mcdonald
   Posted Thu January 28, 2010

Julie Mecikalski
   Posted Thu January 28, 2010
Rhea and Family--it has been an absolute pleasure to have been a colleague of Gene's. He took me under his wing during my first few years at NLHS and I will always be grateful for that. I have many happy memories of the times we spent together as I know you have as well. May those happy memories give you comfort during this difficult time. Hugs and prayers.

Kim Burtner (Murphy)
   Posted Thu January 28, 2010
What a shock to hear. You touched so many of your students lives in the same manner you touched mine. Everyone has that one teacher who makes such a great impact that you never forget him....that was positively you! Cowboy boots aside:) Heaven has no idea what it is in for:) My heart goes out to the family and community--we just lost a good one.

Kirt & Connie Brummund/Kelley Andy & Gabe Oswald
   Posted Thu January 28, 2010
Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. To the greatest teacher ever.

Cal & Robin Olson
   Posted Thu January 28, 2010
Our deepest sympathies are with you during this trying time. Gene had a way of making a lasting impression on a person. He did so with us. May these memories comfort you and sustain you through this tough time, and warm your heart in the years that lay before you.

Mike & Ruth Moore
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
Rhea, we are so sorry. We are forever grateful for the difference Gene made in our children's lives.

Mark Gibson
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
To my loving brother: I am so glad we got to do some things together recently. One of the last precious memories I have of you was sitting on your deck with you all day and around your campfire all night with you and your family, listening to all your great stories last summer. And the time we spent together in December after the Oak Ridge Boys concert when we stopped and spent the night and stayed up till all hours visiting. How priceless! I want to thank you today for being the best brother anyone could have ever asked for. You were my boyhood idol, my own personal Mickey Mantle. My legend, my friend, and so much more. Someone I could come to for anything, and leave with more than I had even asked for. I think I got mad at you a time or two about something, but I can't remember what now. Death is like a giant eraser that makes it so you can't remember anything bad about your loved ones after they are gone. I love you and will always cherish you and your memories and all that you have meant to me. Etenal peace, my brother, my friend. I will never forget you. Love, Mark

Christy Johnson
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
My sympathies go out to the entire Gibson family. This is a hard loss to endure for the entire community and beyond. Our thoughts and prayers are with you now and always. May you all find comfort in your Family, Friends and God. With deepest sympathy, Christy Johnson

Patti Groebner
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Ramona. With care and prayer, ~Patti

Effie M.Taylor(Crotty)
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
I feel very blessed to have known Mr. Gibson.He was the greatest man ever. He would challenge me every chance he had , and then hug me to make me feel safe. I will never forget you, you will always be in my heart and memories.. Thanks Mr. Gibson for everything and making me finish school, and just loving me for me.. you will be missed for eternity.. I love you! Prayers to your family, because they are the most compassionate loving family ever.. God Bless You all...

Jessica Spanbauer (Waterbury)
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
To Rhea and family: My prayers go out to you at this difficult time. Gibby meant the world to me... he had such a huge impact on my life and words cannot express how special he really was. You obviously "shared" him with hundreds and hundreds of students throughout the years. He gave so much of himself and his time to really bring meaning to his teaching and mentoring. I thank him from the bottom of my heart for the special gift he was to me. I am deeply sorry for your loss.

Ashley Keller
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
Mr. Gibson will be dearly missed, but he will live on in many many lifes. My prayers go out to his family.

Susan Ruskowsky
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
My heart and prayers go out to you and your family...Mr. G was an awesome teacher and mentor. He will be missed by all the lives that he touched. Thank God for all the memories!

Anna Sieber-Neitzel
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
My prayers are with the family at this difficult time.

Leilani Freeman
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
Rhea and family I was saddened and stunned to hear of Gene's death. January has been a difficult month for deaths as I lost two friends/neighbors and my aunt (also of a hemorraghic stroke) in the past three weeks. I was so pleased that Gene had responded with information for our class reunion and wish we could have visited with him, but did so much appreciate hearing from him. Classmates have been contacting me and are all extending their sympathies to you. Gene enjoyed life...and we enjoyed Gene.

Karen Domeier
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
Dear Ramona, I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that you and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers. Karen

Jamie (Ready) Bennett
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
My condolences go out to the Gibson family. Gene was a wonderful teacher and i'm so proud to say he had made an impact on my life as he has on so many others.

Heather De Lap
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
My thoughts and prayers in your families time of need. Forever in my heart.

Tom Olson
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
Rhea and Family, It is with great pleasure that I read the notes from those that have known Gene for the past 30 years, in New Lisbon. That's certainly a different person than we knew in high school. I can only imagine that Gene turned out the way he did, under the capable tutelage of Rhea. Still, someone knows that there is a little devil in him that he kept mostly hidden. My sincere condolences! Tom Olson Class of 64

Robert D. Russell
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
I was very sorry to hear of Mr. Gibson's passing. I remember when he first came to teach at New Lisbon High School while I was a student there. He was one of the teachers that helped make going to school fun. The school lost a great asset when he retired and the world has lost a great man upon his passing. God bless you, Gene Gibson.

joyce rogers
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010

Stacy (White) Owen
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
Mr. Gibson, I still can't believe that I'm not going to run into you on this earth anymore. Whether it'd been 5 days or 10 years since we'd spoke, it seemed like we'd just talked the day before. You made such an impression on so many generations of people. You will be missed more than words can ever express. Rest in Peace. Stacy (White) Owen and Family

Joyce Rogers
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
Dear Brother Gene, What can I say I will never forget all the times at your softball games me and my friends sitting on the outside of the fence waiting for you to hit a homerun so we could catch it and return it I think we got a dime for each one we were rich on those weekends!!!! Also when you lived at the game farm and the wolves howling scaring me to death and I will never forget the night you hid in my car and put me into shock I am just sorry I never got to get even with you!!!! You were a great brother that any sister would be proud of I used to tell my friends who had no brothers that you would be theres and you always were to Judy and Donna. You were so blessed to have Rhea for a wife and Kari and the boys and the grandkids what a wonderful family you had which reflects the kind of person you were and all your many friends and students!! there is always a teacher who makes a impact in our lives and I am sure you made a huge impact in many students lives, because you cared. I really didnt intend to write a novel so I will say good bye for now but I will see you again later because I still owe you a prank!!!! I love you Rhea and kids. Love your sister Joyce

Holly Forsythe
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
Gosh I just heard from Mr. Gibson a few days prior to his deepest thoughts are with his family at this difficult time...Mr. Gibson held a very special place in my heart and the hearts of so very many, many others who loved him...I believe he is watching over my baby nephew, Drew who passed away just over a month ago at 1 day old, whom he n I had recently discussed his passing and he tried to comfort me with his words...little did I know that he himself would be joining him so soon, or I would have taken an extra hug or two from him...all my love to him and his lovely family...he will be greatly missed by so many...but never, ever forgotten...

Janine (Waterbury) Borel
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
To Rhea and Family: Words cannot fully express the deep sympathy I wish to convey. He was a very dear person to my heart for all the kind and supportive things he did for me during my years at NLHS and beyond. Thank you for sharing him with the rest of us as he was very giving with his time. I feel truly blessed to have been a part of his life and his memories will never fade. May the wonderful memories which you cherish help provide you comfort during this difficult time. He was an inspiration to hundreds upon hundreds of people which is truly a glorious thing. I will never forget him. God Bless You.

Chelsey Myers
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
As a former student of Gene's I will have to say he has made a true impact in my life, from the history we learned to the friendship I gained throughout the years. You will be truly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to Rhea and the family. With love, Chelsey Myers

Robin McGuire
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
You've done great work on this earth Gene! I look forward to seeing you again. God's peace and blessings upon your family.

Shari Gibson
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
In memory of my brother in law, Gene, I say, "Live like you are dying!" Everyone knows that he and I didn't always agree, but they also know that we loved each other! I have great memories of great times and I am so thankful that we will see each other again someday. I am also glad we always hugged and said I love you before we parted. We saw each other 3 times in the last 6 months and lived 4 hours apart, and my only regret is we didn't get together more. We can all learn from that! Rhea, the love of his life, was a perfect wife for him. She brought out the best in him and helped mold the man he became. I will miss him always. I love you Rhea and Geno, Shane, Chad, and Kari. We share your loss and the pain.

Corina Haschke
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010

John Spillers and Diana Spillers/Wheeland
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
Here is to one of the best teachers we have ever had the knowledge of knowing. He was our Favorite teacher and will be missed but not forgotten. Our hearts go out to the family in their time of need.

Alicia Fink
   Posted Fri January 29, 2010
My deepest sympathy to the Gibson family. For my history teacher, a quote from president William McKinley: "That's all a man can hope for during his lifetime-to set an example-and when he is dead, to be an inspiration for history." You will forever be an inspiration to me and the many students before and after. Thank you.

Kara (Saunders) Harvey
   Posted Sat January 30, 2010
I would like to send my deepest sympathy to the family of Mr. Gibson,especially my former classmate, Shane. Mr. Gibson was a wonderful teacher. I will always remember giving him a book to add to his collection, after an in depth class discussion. I could see in his face he was truly touched. He was always encouraging with my studies and will always be one of my most favorite teachers. May God bless you and comfort you during this time.

Donna Carpentier (nee Trombley)
   Posted Sat January 30, 2010
Rhea, My deepest sympathy to you and your family as well to Joyce, Mark, Sherry, and Ramona (aka Hap). I will never forget the last time I saw Gene. As I was approaching Joyce's house for Ryans graduation Gene was walking toward me. I hadn't seen him or Mark for some time so immediately I said "Gib?" and of course he said yes and all I could think was when did you start looking so much older than me? Once I realized that it was big Gib not little Gib it all made sense. As Joyce mentioned I remember watching him play softball with Neil Gatza and gang. They were never unkind to us little kids and never made us feel our hero worship was stupid! Rhea you and Gene were always so welcoming when we would arrive at your house in the middle of the night on our way to Michigan or the Dells. Gene was a wonderful man and I am truly sorry for your loss and the loss to your family as well as the community. He was one of the best!

Kendra (Hoff) Phillips
   Posted Sat January 30, 2010
Rhea & family, I am so sorry for your loss. I have such fond memories of you & Gene. He holds a special place in my heart. He will be missed.

Tracey (McGuire) Antosh
   Posted Sat January 30, 2010
To Rhea, Kari, Geno, Shane, and Chad: Just wanted to express my condolences. Gene Gibson was so much more than a teacher, as you all know! He was such a man of character and truth. I was blessed to know him and call him friend! Although he will be greatly missed, he taught us about moving forward in life. I pray that as you all move forward, you will treasure all of the wonderful memories that you shared with him! He was truly one of a kind...and he would have been the first to say that we should be thankful for that! :) And I know I am a better person today for knowing your family! I pray God will give you comfort and peace during this time of grief!

Brooke Granger
   Posted Sat January 30, 2010
My deepest condolences go out to your family. Gibson was exactly what people meant when they say one of a kind. When he spoke people listened....whether it was a hilarious joke or advice on life. He was there for people and truly cared about his students and you felt that. It's something that cannot be faked. You knew that there was always one teacher that you could go to, to really talk to. He was intellegent,witty,caring,supportive,funny....I could go on all day. He was there for me many times with a hug when I needed someone and I will remember and treasure him always. I just remembered when he would have us fill out questions and he would answer them and one day he asked the class if you went to heaven and met God what would be the one question that you would ask him? We all gave answers that we thought would impress did I do everything I was supposed to do and stuff like that....when everyone was finished we asked what he would ask and he gave that duhhhh...stupid people....."I'd ask him if I get to say"!!!! Well we know he gets to stay and I am sure he is happy with that and that he finally gets to ask questions to someone that finally knows more than he does!!! We love and miss you.

Tim Stubbs
   Posted Sat January 30, 2010

Christine Wiese (Moore)
   Posted Sat January 30, 2010
Rhea and Family, I am so sorry for your loss. I will never forget all of the extra time that Gene stayed after school to help me and others with our Social Studies notes. He made History so interesting. I told my students this week that my favorite teacher passed away. I told them that it was because of him that I love teaching Social Studies. I was also very blessed and honored to have the opportunity to work with you and Gene. You were both wonderful examples for me to learn from. God Bless, Chris

   Posted Sat January 30, 2010
I will always remember what a hug from Gene felt like. His big old arms wrapped around you made you feel safe and loved. Thank you for that. Also, thank you for the knowledge that NO matter what, if I ever needed ANYTHING, all that was needed was to pick up the phone and call. Now all that is needed is peace and comfort for your family and friends. May you rest in peace. Love, Hap

John & Tiffany Boardman
   Posted Sun January 31, 2010

Jean Langer Cook
   Posted Sun January 31, 2010
Rhea & Family, you have my deepest sympathy. We are all very fortunate to have known such a special person. You've heard it many times over-but he was my favorite teacher. I only wish my children could have had him. He always had that special smile followed by that wink ;). He leaves us all with great memories and these will help you through this very tough time. God Bless!

Bob Giese
   Posted Sun January 31, 2010
Dear Rhea, our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family during this time of grief. I can hardly believe that Gene is gone. I have so many memories of growing up with Gene, our high school years, and all of the ball games after high school. Such great memories, even if some of the events were a bit "unusual'! My only regret is not seeing more of you and Gene over the years. I will treasure the memories forever. May you and your family find peace in knowing Gene is hitting homeruns in heaven!

Jack and Betty Krotzman
   Posted Sun January 31, 2010
Both of our sons had the experience of having Gene for their history teacher. He was able to create a desire in students to learn and grow. We are very sorry for you loss.

   Posted Sun January 31, 2010
My thoughts and prayers are with the family. He was a great man and a great teacher. I will miss all the jokes we shared and I will miss calling you and saying "The dr is running late we will see you in about 3 hrs"

Marie Gosda and Son Caston
   Posted Mon February 01, 2010
The Gibson Family, The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. Rev. 7.17 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. Gene was a wonderful teacher and he will be sadly missed by his students. They dont make teacher like that any more. He was one of a kind. The baby duck was one of my favorite memories of Gene along with his kind heart. Know he is home and keeping the lord on his toes. May peace be with you. Love you all and Rest in peace my friend. With all our love Marie and Caston.

Lloyd Knudson
   Posted Mon February 01, 2010
Rhea I was saddned to hear about Gene,s paasing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your Family. Been a long time since are days at Carlos Avery. Patt and Lloyd

Jamie Bushnick-Long
   Posted Mon February 01, 2010
Mr Gibson was a huge part in my returning to school recently. I ran into him in Goodwill, the book section of course, and talked about how things had been going since i left high school. I told him that I wanted to go back, but was a bit worried about going back at my age! He told me that if he could do it so could I. I think of that everytime I think things are getting tough. He was always there when I needed someone to tell me I was being an idiot and he was always right! He had a way of telling it straight that I will never forget. My thoughts are prayers are with his family and friends.

Jeremy Haske
   Posted Tue February 02, 2010
Words cannot express my sympathies to you and your family. It isn't just a school losing a touching teacher but a community losing a wonderful person. I don't have to tell you how many people's lifes he touched. He continued to be the supportive man he was well after you left school. Always there when you needed him. I know that you will be helping from above. You will be greatly missed!

Laurie Nelson Adams
   Posted Fri February 05, 2010
I will continue to think of Mr. G and his family every day. You will be greatly missed as a husband, father, teacher and friend.

Jamie Schindler
   Posted Sat February 06, 2010
My deepest sympathies to Gibby's wife and children. He will always be missed... Thoughts and Prayers are with You all.

Susan Strand Dobrotka
   Posted Mon February 08, 2010
Dear Rhea I was so sad to hear of Gene's passing. He was a very special man and how you must miss him. Our very deepest sympathies in your loss. When you feel up to it, I would love to know your address. Ours is 14277 202nd St. N., Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047. Love Sue

Melanie (Hansen) O'Brien
   Posted Wed February 10, 2010
I am very sorry to hear about the passing of Gene. He was my civics teacher in 89-90 before I moved to Alaska with my mother, Nancy. When I think of him, I think of a brilliant man who always kept things interesting. When I talk about teachers, he is one that is always brought up...writing on the walls, making sure you were listening to what he said instead of just "taking notes", and always had a joke or two. He was my favorite teacher, and a good friend. My deepest condolences to his family.

george vedder
   Posted Thu February 11, 2010
Rhea & Family: I offer my condolences on our loss of Gene. As you know, Gene was a treasured friend of mine and a person one could always count on. He was not only a sports icon but a wonderful teacher as well who helped countless students along the way. I am honored to have known him and shared so many wonderful memories with him during our lives. Gene always gave 100% effort in sports or the teaching profession. I will miss his friendship and am glad my son Timm also was blessed in getting to know him and your family. God Bless you Rhea and your Family. Gene Gibson was a person of strong character and one of the best and most loyal friends I ever had. Love and Best Wishes George Vedder

Dave Sandberg
   Posted Thu February 11, 2010
My condolences to your family. I hadn't seen Gene in many years, but kept up with his life through George Vedder. I played fastpitch softball with Gene for Scandia in about 1961, with a bunch of other young kids from the area. You could see even then he was going to be a good athlete. He was a great guy then, and can see from the guest book, he made a big contribution throughout his life. Heaven will be a better place for having him.

MAJ Timothy Vedder
   Posted Sat February 13, 2010
So sorry to hear about Gene. I just heard from my dad last night. Good memories of stopping by your place on one of our trips to WI Dells or Illinois. I'll always remember his larger-than-life personality. I think I was in awe of him. Wishing you warmest Aloha, Timm & Valerie

Twyla (Hyatt) Gawlas
   Posted Tue February 16, 2010
To Linda, Sherry, Ramona and family Thoughts and prayers are with you, so sorry to see the loss of your brothers. God Bless You All, Twyla

Jim and Linda Eddy
   Posted Thu February 25, 2010
Gene was an sincere friend.I belie ve Gene would be embarrassed by all this attention,I might just as well make it complete.I loved Gene like a brother and he reciprocated. We had many a discussion(argument)on every subject.In fact he's probably discussing the proper greeting one should receive with Saint Peter when entering Heaven. That is where he is and deservedly so. Jim

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