Kathleen Gibbons

Posted: Friday, December 03, 2010

Former Kenai Peninsula resident Kathleen Gibbons died at her home in Fairbanks of natural causes Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010. She was 54.

Ms. Gibbons was born on Oct. 12, 1956, in Greensburgh, Pa. Ms. Gibbons, who lovingly went by the nickname "Gitch," moved to Anchorage in 1969. She was a wonderful student and throughout her life continued her love of learning. She graduated from Diamond High in 1973, a year early. She attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and later the University of Oregon. She received her Bachelor's degree in Human Services from University of Alaska Anchorage.

Her family said that Ms. Gibbons had an open heart and found interest in learning about different cultures and religions. She had a deep appreciation for people of all different walks of life. She treated everyone with dignity. She struggled with social injustices and helped by volunteering at various non-profit organizations. There was absolutely nothing she wasn't good at; she was a beautiful artist, fabulous cook and great teacher. Her patience was strength, she never judged anyone for their lifestyle choices or anybody's surface attributes. She was an inspiration to many. Amongst her many accomplishments -- she worked on the Trans-Alaska pipe line as a pipe fitter and was one of the first women to complete an apprenticeship program with the Pipefitters union; she was a crab fisherman in the Bering Sea. She so enjoyed hard work and the beauty of the ocean. She had a special love for Dutch Harbor.

The family wrote, "She will forever be missed and the family feels blessed for the time they had with her."

She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Strohman and her beloved father, Dr. John Gibbons.

She is survived by her mother, Irene Gibbons, of Soldotna; sister, Lori Gibbons, of Anchorage; and brother, Jack Gibbons and his wife, Ruby, along with their children Kiefer, Sarah, Caitlan, and little Jack, of Soldotna. She is also survived by many relatives in Pennsylvania and Anchorage.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Brother Francis Shelter, 1021 E. 3rd Ave., Anchorage, 99501-6102.

Arrangements made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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