Obituaries: Helen May Gibbens(1926-2008)

May 08, 2008 12:00 am
Gibbens (Submitted photo).
Gibbens (Submitted photo).

Helen May Gibbens (Granny) was born March 13, 1926, and passed away peacefully and unexpectedly May 4, 2008, at the age of 82. She was the daughter of Carlton and Helen Haight of Smith River.

Helen grew up on a dairy farm in Smith River and was the oldest of four girls, two of whom passed away in childhood. As a girl, Helen loved to ride horses, one time even entering an otherwise all-men's race at the fair and winning.

She graduated from high school in Crescent City in 1944. Shortly thereafter she and her family took a trip to Weitchpec to see Gibbens Bros. Logging Co., where she met Paul Gibbens. Helen and Paul were married June 29, 1951. They went on to have seven children in 10 years. They raised their children on the Klamath River at "Gibbens Ranch" and ran a logging business with Wayne and Maude Gibbens.

As a family they enjoyed horse-backing to the Marble and Trinity mountains, ultimately stopping because they had more children than horses. In her later years, Helen enjoyed watching her wood ducks, hummingbirds, chipmunks, and squirrels through the glass doors of her log house, which her husband and sons built for her.

Helen was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who enjoyed visiting and cooking for family.

She was preceded in death by her husband Paul Gibbens, her father Carlton Haight, her mother Helen Haight, her two sisters Mary Jane and Maxine Haight, and her best friend Melba Nichols.

Helen is survived by a sister Lois and husband Jack Luttrell; sister-in-law Maude Gibbens; sons Steve Gibbens and wife Kathy, Roger Gibbens and wife Patti, Daniel Gibbens and Sheryle, and Tom Gibbens and Ruby; daughters Jan Hesse and husband Steve, Jane Gibbens and Jim, Suze Walker and husband Larry; stepchildren Gary Gibbens and Sandra Ranstead; grandchildren Nita Roberts, Mandy Gibbens, Audry Gibbens, Erin Prado and husband Alex, Paul T. Gibbens, Rose Gibbens, Carlton Gibbens, Jade Tyner and husband Joe, Adia Gibbens, Rena Gibbens, Helena Star Gibbens, Thomas Masten and Hakita, Quincy Masten, Rocky Erickson and wife Joy, Chelsee Gibbens, and Haylee Gibbens; great-grandchildren Trevor, Trinity, Anthony, Skylar, Chane, Emma, Kayla, Sebastian, Kixinay, Ashlyn, Rocky, Malia,and friend Victor Jones.

At Helen's request, there will be a private service for immediate family members.