Joseph Richey Gibbons, age 30, beloved father, husband, son, brother, and friend to all he met, left mortality peacefully at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 19, and winged his way homeward to a reunion with infant son, Robert Lee, and other family members eagerly awaiting his arrival. Rich has completed a two year period of intense service to mankind after being diagnosed with a brain-stem glioma tumor. The departure was in the presence of many loved ones, and occurred after a day of professional and loving care by the staff of Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
Rich is survived by wife, Tamara Jeanne Holker Gibbons; and son, Joseph Brian.Their infant daughter, Anna, expected May 1, will pause long enough for a passing farewell and instructions from her dad before making her mortal appearance as comforter to her mother and brother. Other survivors include parents, LeRoy and Donna Gibbons of Logan; brothers, Donald LeRoy Gibbons (Annette Smoot), Albany, New York; Barry Alan Gibbons (Lucie Grant Wood), Bountiful; sisters, Donna Lee Gibbons of Salt Lake; Felicia Anne (Derek Todd Sorensen), American Fork; Tricia Dawn (Noel Smith Reynolds), Austin, Texas; Sara DeNae Gibbons, Pleasant Grove. An older brother, Michael Wayne Gibbons, preceded Rich in death in 1966.
Gibbons was born in Holbrook, Arizona on October 20, 1967. A passion for music, a loving concern for others, a contagious sense of humor, and devotion to church and family characterized his thirty year sojourn. His elementary education was in the Mesa, Arizona and Orem, Utah public schools. His years at Orem High School were characterized by service to others. He was Student Body President, excelling in music and athletics.
He served an LDS mission to the Arkansas Little Rock mission in 1986-88. Rich and Tamara Jeanne Holker were married on August 24, 1989 in the Salt Lake temple. He pursued a musical career as performer and sound engineer, posting several important singles and albums to his credit in the LDS and commercial markets.
Gibbons was employed at the Waterford Institute in 1992 as sound engineer and musical arranger for educational projects. Creative genius blossomed in his characterization of childrens' songs in the Waterford Early Reading Program. The company retained Gibbons in his time of trial with the brain disorder, allowing him to continue work on a flexible schedule. He concluded his last work on level three of the program two days before his passing.
Rich was an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of his excellent teaching ability with children and adults, his church activity in this and other wards included calls as Ward Mission Leader, Primary teacher, Sunday School Gospel Doctrine teacher, and Jr. Sunday School teacher.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, April 23, 1998 at 11 in the North Lakeridge Stake Center, 450 South 100 West, Orem. Friends may call Wednesday from 7-9 p.m. at the Walker Sanderson Funeral Home, 646 East 800 North, Orem, and Thursday at the stake center from 9-10:45 a.m. prior to the services. Interment will be at the Orem City Cemetery.
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