Jim was born to James Gibson and Martha Mize Warren Gibson on June 23, 1942, in Connersville, Indiana. After graduating from Connersville High School, he attended Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana and later received a degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He would go on to retire from the Ford Motor Company in Connersville after 34 years of service.
Jim loved the outdoors and was an avid golfer and fisherman. He also loved blues and jazz music; however, his greatest love was spending time with family and friends. A people person, Jim devoted his spare time to community service as president of Kiwanis International, Sundowner’s Chapter and a member of the Jaycees in Connersville, Indiana. He was also a member of the Esquire’s Club in Richmond, Indiana.
Jim accepted Christ at a young age at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Connersville. He later joined New Life United Methodist Church, also in Connersville. At New Life he served as a trustee and chairman of the Building Program and was instrumental in planning and building the new church.
After moving to Huntsville, Alabama, Jim came out of retirement to work as the executive vice president of Thomas Technology, Incorporated and Vice President-Manufacturing for Campbell Engineering Aircraft. From 2000-2001, he served as president of the North Alabama African-American Chamber of Commerce. He was also invited to join the Greater Huntsville Chapter of the 100 Black Men of America, Incorporated and was a member of their board of directors. Mentoring youth became his passion, so much so that in 2005, the organization honored him with the Mentor of the Year Award.
Jim and his wife Rena settled in Madison, Alabama and joined New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church under the pastorate of Reverend Ricky Sykes. At New Jerusalem he served as finance chairman of finance from 2004-2007 and vice-chairman of trustees from 2004 until the Lord called him home.
Jim leaves to cherish his memories his loving and devoted wife of 44 years, Rena Wynn Gibson; one son, James Scott Gibson; one daughter, Sharisse Gibson, both of Madison, Alabama; two sisters, Phyllis A. McCall of Atlanta, Georgia and Deborah L. (Robert W.) Alexander of Richmond, Indiana; two brothers, Richard C. (Cynthia) Gibson and Chester L. (Rebecca) Gibson of Connersville, Indiana; three goddaughters Jessica, Tess, and Gabrielle Harvey of Connersville, Indiana; and a host of other relatives and friends. His parents and stepfather Chester Warren preceded him in death.
Visitation for Mr. Gibson will be held on Friday, May 30, 2008 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Nelms Memorial Funeral Home at 2501 Carmichael Avenue in Huntsville, Alabama 35816.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 12:00 noon from the New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church at 2562 Bob Wade Lane in Harvest, Alabama.
The family requests that memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to The 100 Black Men of America, Inc. Greater Huntsville Chapter, Men of Tomorrow Mentoring Program, "James L. Gibson Memorial". Please mail donations/contributions to: 100 BMOA CHC. Attn: "James L. Gibson Memorial" - P. O. Box 5194, Huntsville, AL 35814.