Milton “Tom” Gibson, 87, passed away on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at his home surrounded by his loving family.
Tom was born in Columbus, MS to the late Laney Mack and Josie Gibson. Besides his parents, Tom was preceded in death by his sisters, Edna King, Eloise Homan, Ann Shepard, and Nellie Hydrick.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 36 years, Brenda; his sister, Jeanie Hutchinson of Memphis, TN; his sons, Joe Gibson of Greenville, SC, Tom Gibson (Deborah) of Charlotte, David Hopkins (Sarah Manitsas) of Largo, FL; his daughters, Jill Fonseth (Bill) of Fayetteville, Diane Drago (Sal) of Boyce, LA, Robin Dudash of Clayton, Nadine Ninneman (John) of Linden, NC, Nancy Piran (Valentino) of Faribault, MN; 21 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; and numerous nephews and nieces.
The two most important priorities in Tom’s life were his family and his country.
He joined the National Guard while still in high school and enlisted in the Army in 1953. He served tours in Italy, Austria, and Washington State before joining the 10th Special Forces Group in Bad Toelz, Germany in 1963. He served 2 tours with the Special Forces in Vietnam in 1966 and again in 1969 – 1970. During his military service he received numerous awards including the Bronze Star, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Presidential Unit Citation, Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Army Commendation Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal. Service to country remained strong in him and on 9/11, he was ready to sign up again and defend his country. You could always find the US flag flying at his house.
Tom loved being with his family whether it was for a holiday, birthday, graduation, cookout, or folks just stopping by. He spent many happy hours visiting and playing with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was very proud of his family and all their accomplishments.
Tom felt at home at the beach with the sun, the sand, and the sound of the waves. For many years he was an avid scuba diver and instructor. He taught many people in the area the joy of diving. He enjoyed reading, especially the books of Louis L’Amour, all of which he read multiple times.
A service will be held in honor of Tom’s memory on Monday, March 29, 2021 at 9 AM at Arran Lake Baptist Church. Burial will be at the Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers' donations can be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation, PO Box 368, Woodland Hills, CA 91365 www.garysinisefoundation.org or The Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675-8516. https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/
Services entrusted to Jernigan Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey St., Fayetteville, NC 28301
Online condolences may be sent to http://www.jerniganwarren.com
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