Billy Arlen Gibson went to glory on March 2, 2022.
He was 86 years old and many thought that he could never die. Billy lived life to the fullest; from his first breath, to our last gut-busting laughs in the hours before he died. He had a spirit of determination, a contrite heart, and such an outgoing manner that to know him was to love him.
Billy was born in his maternal grandparents’ family home in Missouri on January 1, 1936 at 2:30 AM, to Clyde and Olga (Raasch) Gibson. Billy’s early years were spent on the family farm where his brother and family still farm the land, today. In 1955, he answered the call to service and joined the Air Force. He was stationed at Luke Air Force Base during the Korean war where he worked as a mechanic. While in Arizona, he met “the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen”. On June 3, 1957, he married Sharon Faye Bouma. Sharon was Bill’s great love, his purpose in life. Billy and Sharon had 2 beautiful children, Terri and George. Their adventures took them from Arizona back to the family farm when Billy’s service was completed in 1959. Eventually, the small family moved to Idaho and in 1971, the whole family renewed their commitment to Christ at a little church in Filer, ID. God, family, and community were the central tenets in Billy and Sharon’s life. They served others wherever they went and in the early 80s they loved many foster children who came through their home. Those that knew Billy and Sharon remember them for their faith and hospitality. Billy worked many jobs in his life; almost all of them involved mechanics and handy-man type work. He had a knack for fixing things and understanding how they work.
In 1985, their first grandchild (Kristi) was born and they helped raise her alongside her father for more than 5 years, remaining an active part in her upbringing throughout her childhood. In the 1990s, 2 more grandchildren (Annie and Jessie) would follow. Billy is known as “Bopa” to his grandchildren. Bopa is/was deeply loved and adored by his children, grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. The most recent joys and memories that his great-grandchildren have are Billy’s mannerisms and sayings. We will forever think of him fondly and remember his signature “Yooou-whoo!” when he was being silly, and our personal favorite exclamation: “where were you when the ship hit the sandbar!?”
Due to his health needs in later life, Billy was a resident of the Idaho State Veterans Home for the better part of 20 years. The Veteran’s Home was his community and he thrived under their care where they empowered him to be as independent as he was able to be. There was not an outing that Billy didn’t participate in and enjoy. He especially enjoyed fishing trips, car shows, and riding in the occasional parade. He was loved and respected in the life and the community that embraced him at the Vet Home. In his last days many people came to say goodbye and shared their memories of Billy’s love of tinkering, crafts, and music. In the last years of his life, his ministry was to spend hours listening to music and printing the lyrics or even writing them by hand. In turn, he shared his music with everyone he came into contact with.
Billy is preceded in death by his wife, Sharon (1940-2012), his parents Clyde & Olga Gibson, and his sister, Betty Davis. Billy is survived by his brother, Ronnie Gibson (Linda); children, Terri Joy (Joel) and George; grandchildren Kristi Young (Aaron), Antonia Gibson, Jessie Gibson; and 4 great-grandchildren, Cole Young, Davin Young, Faith Young, and Addysin Grace Gibson.
Graveside military honors and a short program will be held at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in Boise at 2 PM on March 29, 2022; immediately followed by a repast at Eagle Christian Church at 3 PM where you are invited to share memories of Billy and join us in sharing his favorite music.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Billy’s name to the activities department at the Idaho State Veterans Home - 320 Collins Rd Boise, ID 83702.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Billy A. Gibson, please visit our floral store.