Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gibson Cenotaph

This is a Cenotaph located at Ganderville Cemetery in Summers, AR.
James E.
Maj. 38th Inf
2nd Div
Feb 2, 1919
May 21, 2009


Mary Ellen
Wife of
Maj. J.E. Gibson
She lived quietly
She died nobly
She was brave
and she loved me.
Feb 24, 1926
Feb 17, 2003

Children of
James E. Gibson
and Francis L. Waite
Mary Ellen
(Willis) Carruth
James P.
Margaret A.
Barbara L.
Michael K.

Major James E. Gibson
1919 at Summers, Arkansas, the son of Harvey Samuel and Annie Mable Gibson. (They were second cousins.) He attended the Summers Schools where he received his HS diploma in 1937 with a class of seven, three of whom still survive. In the fall of 1937 he enrolled in the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where he pursued studies which led to the awarding of a BA with a major in Geology in 1942. While at the University he studied Military Science four years, leading to the award of a commission as 2nd Lt. in the US Army Reserves. On July1, 1941, Maj. Gibson received orders to report for active duty, spending short periods at Camp Robinson and the Army Navy Hospital at Hot Springs before being assigned to “L” Co., 38th Inf, Second Division. His first company commander was 1st Lt. Jack Cornett. Maj. Gibson spent the rest of his military service (Aside from hospitalization.) with the 38th Inf. where he served as Platoon Leader, Battalion Supply Officer, Company Executive Officer and Company Commander.

Maj. Gibson received more Infantry training at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, Cold weather and Mountain Training at Camp McCoy Wisconsin, and Air-bourn Training at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. In November 1943 his regiment left Camp McCoy on troop trains for Camp Shanks, New York, where they received new equipment. That completed they boarded the Anne Arundel an Attack Transport ship for the trip over seas. After a stormy but otherwise uneventful crossing of the Atlantic, they reached Belfast N. Ireland and later Bessbrook Co. Down NI, where they remained until traveling to Cardiff Wales where they boarded troop ships for the invasion of Frances. They arrived off Omaha Beach about 3:00 P.M. on D-day plus 1, when artillery fire was still hitting the beach. He was in active combat until August 4, 1944, in Normandy he was injured by the explosion of a mortar shell causing a permanent disability. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry mans Badge and was rated expert with the M1903 Rifle. He was decorated by the French Government for his participation in the battle of Normandy and Northern France. While recovering from this, he served as an Assistant Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the University of Arkansas, teaching freshman and sophomore students.

Maj. Gibson was retired from military service form disability after seven years service, four of which were spent in various Army Hospitals. He received his discharge at Percy Jones Gen Hospital at Battle Creek, Michigan on April 18, 1948, later returning to Arkansas, where he served as a grade school principal for two years before buying the farms of his father and uncle at Summers, where he established a small heard of cattle. In 1956 the Gibsons moved to Fayetteville where he worked for the Employment Security Division, State Department of Labor for about 25 years this service being interrupted by one year employment as Personnel Manager at Shakespeare of Arkansas.

On February 12, 1942 in the Post Chapel at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, he was married to Frances Lucille Waite, daughter of Dr. Ralph B. Waite and Florence Edgington. To them were born four children: James Patrick, Margaret Ann, Barbara Lea and Michael Kevin. This marriage ended in divorce in 1972. He married 2nd Mrs. Mary Elle Carruth, daughter of Donald R. and Elna C. Willis, of Fayetteville, Arkansas. On his retirement from the Employment Security Division the Gibsons continued to live on The Muleshoe, their farm at Summers until 1988 when they moved to Fayetteville to be near Mary Ellen’s Mother. This marriage lasted 27 years, ending with the death of Mary Ellen on February 17, 2003. No children were born of this marriage. He later married Virginia Madeline Galbraith Spears Cox. That marriage ended in her death on December 5, 2008.

During civilian life, Maj. Gibson was a Life member of the National Rifle Association and the American Legion. He was a charter member of The Scottish Society of NW Arkansas, and was active in this until his death. He was also a member of the Fayetteville Civitan Club. He was a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. constitution directed the building of several rifles for hunting and target shooting. He joined the Methodist Church at Westville, Oklahoma, about 1950 and remained a Methodist the rest of his life, last belonging to the Central United Methodist Church of Lincoln.

Maj. Gibson was also preceded in death by one daughter Margaret Ann, (Rio Waite-Gibson) Beckman, his parents, Harvey S. and Annie Gibson, Grandparents, Samuel H. and Mary E. Gibson, and John (Bud) and Hettie Gertrude Alexander Gibson also John A. Tennant, 2nd husband of Hettie Gertrude, greatgrandparents, John and Virginia Phobe Carnahan Gibson, and William and Eliza Harrell Gibson.

Survivors include two sons, James Patrick Gibson and Sheila of Cripple Creek, Colorado, Michael Kevin Gibson and Katharine of Seattle, Washington; one daughter, Barbara Lea Wright and David Robert of Mountain Home, Arkansas; four grand children, Douglas E. Gierow of Denver, Colorado, Clendon S. Gibson of Austin, Texas, Julie Catherine Beckman-Key and Simon Key of Austin, Texas, and Evan B. Gibson of San Francisco, California; his first wife, Frances L. Waite of Kingston, Washington; two step sons, Bobby Jack Spears and his wife Shirley of Cincinnati, Arkansas, and Kenneth “Bud” Cox and his wife Paula of Lincoln, Arkansas; cousins include Marion Gibson of Summers, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Morton of Summers, Arkansas, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Brogden of Dutch Mills, Arkansas, and Anna Ruth Munnerlyn of Fayetteville, Arkansas, along with many other friends, relatives and neighbors.

I found an article written by James Gibson called Alternatives to the Soldier Canteen.

I found the following burial information at:

DATE OF BIRTH: 02/02/1919
DATE OF DEATH: 05/21/2009

Located at
U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006  about Mary Ellen W Gibson
Name: Mary Ellen W Gibson
Service Info.: MAJ US ARMY
Birth Date: 24 Feb 1926
Death Date: 17 Feb 2003
Relation: Wife of Gibson, James E
Interment Date: 24 Feb 2003
Cemetery: Fayetteville National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: 700 Government Avenue Fayetteville, AR 72701
Buried At: Section D-1 Row A Site 18

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