Sterling resident Norma Jean "Tootie" Gibson died Saturday, May 9, 2009, from cancer at Heritage Place in Soldotna. She was 40.
A celebration of her life will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the Sterling Senior Center at Mile 82.5 of the Sterling Highway. Private graveside services will be held at the Spruce Grove Memorial Park in Kasilof. Pallbearers will be Daniel, David and Donald Dobson, Jesse Gibson, Josh Freel and Dave Jones.
Ms. Gibson was born Feb. 14, 1969, to Eldon Earl Gibson Sr. and Nancy Kay Littleton at the Humana Hospital Alaska in Anchorage. She attended Romig Junior High School in Anchorage. Ms. Gibson lived in Wasilla, Seward, and Kalama, Wash. She moved to Montpelier, Idaho in 2006 and had worked as a Realtor at Vista Realty in Garden City, Utah, until she moved back to Alaska and settled in Sterling in 2007. She worked for Alaska Cab as a cab driver from September 2007 until her health failed in October of 2008.
"She adopted numerous wayward teens under her wing and helped to guide them through trials and tribulations," her family said.
Ms. Gibson enjoyed watching nature, wildlife, growing flowers, gardening, boating, fishing and hanging out with family and friends.
"Tootie had a big heart that was open to help people. When she loved, she loved fierce and was loved fierce in return. Tootie liked camping, long walks and sunny days. She was a free spirit with a gypsy's soul. Though she has moved on, she will always live in our hearts," her family said. "Tootie is free now. She can scale the highest mountain and swim the deepest sea. She will be loved and missed forever and continues to live on through her children."
Tootie was preceded in death by her mother and father; and brother, Paul Mathew Gibson.
She is survived by her sons, Daniel Joseph Dobson and David Darryel Dobson Jr. of Sterling; daughter, Bonni Jean Dobson of Sterling; brothers, Jesse A. Gibson of Homer, Eldon Earl Gibson Jr. of Phoenix, Ariz., and Danny Earl Gibson of Illinois; sisters, Nancy Lee Belle Ross and her husband, William Ross of Soldotna, and Sherrie Kay Dobson of Sterling and Nome; former spouse, David Dobson Sr. of Sterling; brothers-in-law Larry, Donald Dale and Curtis Dobson of Sterling; nephew, Donald Dee Dobson of Kenai; nieces Jenipher Kay, Phellisha "JBJ" Dobson of Sterling, and Donna Darlean Edmunds of Kenai.
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made in Tootie's memory to the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, 33955 Community College Drive, Soldotna, AK 99669.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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