If the name Bob Gibbons ever came up in a conversation, almost all who knew him would probably make the same statement: “I still have my marble.”
Bob was 94 years young when he died peacefully in his Huntington Harbour home shortly after midnight Dec. 23. Services are pending.
He was a decorated World War II and Korean War veteran. He served his country through the Michigan National Guard, the Army Air in World War II and the Air Force in the Korean War, attaining the rank of master sergeant.
He was a man of faith, loved his family, and gave so much of himself to help underprivileged children and mentor youth both through church and through Kiwanis.
Bob served as the governor of the California-Nevada-Hawaii District of Kiwanis in 1992-93. He spent many years as a member of the Kiwanis Club of Huntington Beach and was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Fountain Valley as well.
Bob was also my father-in-law. His only child is my wife, Lynn.
Bob’s passion for Kiwanis and what this international organization stood for was well known.
He first joined the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Bakersfield in 1960. Later, he moved to the Bellflower Club. He served as lieutenant governor in 1986-87.
He gave seminars and workshops at numerous Kiwanis conventions and has served in many committee positions at both the district and international levels. He was also an excellent public speaker. Whenever Lynn or I was leading a Kiwanis seminar, we could see him in a back row of the seminar room counting the number of “ahs” that came out of our mouths.
Over the years, Bob loved to be part of hands-on service projects, including back-to-school shopping for needy children at Wal-Mart and the Huntington Beach Easter Egg Hunt.
Kiwanis is the mentoring organization for high school Key Clubs. Many years ago, there was a girls-only high school club called Keywanettes. Bob played a pivotal role in the reorganization of Keywanettes into a second coed high school club called KIWIN’s. All four Huntington Beach Unified high schools have both Key Clubs and KIWIN’s Clubs, as do Fountain Valley High and Los Amigos High.
Having two clubs simply doubles the opportunities for high school students to both perform community service and learn leadership skills.
Bob is survived by his wife of 39 years (and past Cal-Nev-Ha First Lady), Nancy Gibbons; my wife Lynn (a past Kiwanis lieutenant governor; myself, also a past Kiwanis lieutenant governor; stepdaughter, Kathryn Rau; stepson, James…