James W. Gibson



James Worley Gibson, beloved father and grandfather, entered his eternal home on August 29, 2017. Left to cherish his memory are his daughters Lu Juan Gibson and spouse, Robert Michalove, and Debra Gibson Haney and spouse, Larry Haney. The light of his life was his only grandchild and namesake, James Alexander Haney. Jimmy also loved his many nieces and nephews. He cherished his friendship with his dear friend and cohort in mischief, Freddie Euton. And in the final year of his life, Jimmy immeasurably enjoyed the company of Edith Kinder, his caretaker. Edith swooped him up with her bubbly personality and compassionate care.

Jimmy was born on August 3, 1928 to Charles A. and Annie B. Gibson. He recently celebrated 89 years on earth. He attended public schools in Forest City and graduated from Cool Springs High School. While in high school, he met his lifelong sweetheart, Margaret Hughes Gibson. His wife of sixty-four years passed away in December 2015. He attended Wofford College, but left school to proudly serve as a pilot in the United States Air Force, flying transport planes during the Korean Conflict. He is noted as an Atomic Veteran for flying missions over Entowenok to test atomic bombs.

Upon discharge from the military, Jimmy returned to his hometown to raise his family. He was very active in his daughters’ lives. He was an ardent band supporter, coached softball teams, took his daughter’s Girl Scout troop camping, and escorted his daughters and niece Jill to see the Beatles in Atlanta. He was a dedicated member of the First Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon, training union leader, and nursery worker. He was a successful businessman and owned Hughes, Inc. Jimmy was actively involved in many civic activities. He was a Jaycee and worked with the Miss NC Beauty Pageant. He served as the Charter President of the Optimist Club. Jimmy was very proud to serve as the President of the Booster Club for the Championship East Rutherford Marching Cavalier Band. The hard work of the Booster Club supported the Cavalier Band’s trip to Europe in 1970.

Upon retirement, Jimmy began his second career. His love and passion for Forest City guided him into the political realm. He was elected as a Forest City Councilman for 6 terms. His proudest moments came during his 3 terms as Mayor of Forest City. He loved Forest City and worked hard to ensure its progress..While Mayor, Jimmy enjoyed a close relationship with the African-American churches. One of his final requests was for the congregations to lift him up in prayer and celebration of his life.

The family wishes to thank the caring and compassionate staff of Evergreen at Eden Terrace of Spartanburg, where Jimmy had resided for the past 6 months. Despite his dementia, he grew very fond of his caretakers, as they did him. Also, Interim Hospice supported Jimmy through his final month of life.

The family suggests donations in Jimmy’s memory be made to the Rutherford County Rescue Squad, Post Office Box 670, Forest City, NC 28043 which supported his wife Margaret. Also, Jimmy was thrilled this past May to fly in a Boeing Stearman biplane through the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation. Donations to this organization, which gives veterans in long-term care facilities an opportunity to fly in a biplane used to train military aviators during World War II, may be made at www.AgelessAviationDreams.org.

A memorial service will be held at 1 o'clock Saturday, September 2, 2017 in the First Baptist Church with the Reverend Dr. Garin Hill officiating and a eulogy given by Jimmy's nephew, Jamie Parsons. A reception of family and friends will follow the service in the Family Fellowship Hall. Interment will be in the Cool Springs Cemetery with military honors accorded by the Rutherford County Honor Guard.