ROBERT WAYNE GIBBONS, 82, of Oneonta, died July 8, 2020, concluding a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Wayne was the son of Myrtle Gibbons, and the late Robert Lee Gibbons of Deatsville. He was the husband of the late Anita Henson Gibbons, who preceded him in death May 26, 2013, after more than 53 years of marriage.
Mr. Gibbons was born Dec. 13, 1937, in Deatsville, graduating from Holtville High School in 1956 then Auburn University in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education. He started his teaching career at Foley High School, teaching agricultural science and technology from 1961-1962 before teaching at Elmore County High School from 1962-1965. Then he taught agricultural science and technology and later industrial arts at Oneonta High School from 1965 until his retirement in 1994.
He raised cattle from 1973 until 2008 and was also an owner of the Gibbons Chevron and Food Mart of Oneonta from 2000-2003.
He remained a devoted member of First Baptist Church of Oneonta since joining in 1965. He was a deacon, and he served as the chairman of the deacons on two occasions during his tenure. He also was a Sunday school teacher for more than 30 years, as well as being the church training director during the 1970s and 1980s.
He was a member and past president of the Oneonta Jaycees and the Oneonta Civitan Club. He was a member and past director of the Blount County Cattlemen’s Association. He was also a member and past president of the Blount County Gideon Camp. As a Gideon, he gave away thousands of New Testaments to fifth grade students throughout Blount County and to students at his alma mater, Auburn University. Upon its availability, he passed out hundreds of Gideon Bible App cards to people wherever he went.
In addition to his wife and father, Mr. Gibbons was also preceded in death by his son-in-law Tim Hester; his brothers-in-law James Hamm, Bobby Henson, and Bob Zahorscak; and his sister-in-law Janice Zahorscak.
Survivors include his mother, his children Ronald (Brenda) Gibbons, Charles Gibbons, Sara Hester, and Janna (Chris) NeSmith; his grandchildren John (Alycia) Gibbons, Cade NeSmith, Colt NeSmith, Adam (Jessica) NeSmith, Eric (Whitney) NeSmith, Evan (Abbey) NeSmith, and Andrew Koon; his great-grandsons Harrison NeSmith and Tristan Koon; his sisters Mabel (Harold) Haddle, Carol Hamm, and Mary Ruth Gibbons; his sister-in-law Edna Earl Henson, and a host of aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, former students, and friends of the family.
Visitation was at Lemley Funeral Home on Saturday, July 11, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Sunday, July 12, services began at 3 p.m. with burial following at Oak Hill Cemetery. Funeral services were conducted by Dr. Larry Gipson and Rev. Dan Sims. Pallbearers were Jimmy Culpepper, Patrick Fendley, Jeff Henson, Bill Hopewell, Andy Hunt, Ted Murphree, Herbert Starks, Richard Todd, and Little-Bob Zahorscak. Honorary pallbearers were Blount County Gideon Camp and FBCO Senior Adult Sunday School Department.
-obituary written by family