Phillip Ray Gibson Sr., 94, of Craig, and formerly of Helen, W.V., began a new life in a better place April 13, 2013.
Born July 12, 1918, to Benjamin H. and Pearl Lacy Gibson, he was one of six children — one girl and five boys. He grew up on the Winding Gulf and graduated from Collins High School before entering the Army during World War II. Following his Army service, he married his beloved wife, Rosie M. Gibson. They settled in Helen, W.V., where Ray and Rosie lived for 60 years and helped raise their four children. He was employed more than 40 years as a coal miner. He retired from Pocahontas Fuel in Itmann, W.V.
Fishing, hunting and gardening were his passions. He coached American Legion baseball for many years in Beckley, W.V.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ben and Pearl Gibson; wife Rosie Gibson; sister Ollie Gibson; brothers Orville and Clifford Gibson; and granddaughter Emma K. Griffith Mills.
Those left to cherish his memory are Phillip Gibson Jr. and Karen, of Craig; Betty Earls and Cliff, of Crab Orchard, W.V.; Donald Gibson and Pauline, of Lakewood; Nancy Hambrick and Larry, of Daniels, W.V.; two brothers, Don Gibson and Lou Gibson, both of Florida; 13 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.
A services to celebrate the life of Phillip Ray Gibson Sr. was held at Blue Ridge Funeral Home in Beckley with Pastor Charles Gilbert officiating. Military graveside honors were provided by the American Legion Post 32. Following the services Ray was laid to rest beside his beloved wife, Rosie, at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens.
A memorial service to remember Ray also will be held at 3 p.m. June 9 at Friendship Methodist Church in Craig. Friends are invited to come and share memories and to remain for a reception after the service.
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