Obituary for Raymond John Gibson

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Raymond John Gibson

April 16, 1933 - February 28, 2020


Raymond “John” Gibson, 86, of Indianapolis, passed away February 28, 2020. He was born to R. J. “Hoot” Gibson and Vera Jane (Peterson) Gibson on April 16, 1933, in Salem, South Dakota.

He graduated from Custer High School in 1951, South Dakota State University in 1955, and Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1958. During and following seminary, Reverend Gibson served churches in Oak Park, IL, Brown Deer, WI, Selby/Mobridge, SD, and Rapid City, SD. In 1974, he was appointed to a specialized ministry with the Ecumenical Institute/Institute of Cultural Affairs where he served as Executive Director of field offices in Green Bay, WI; Sungai Lui, Malaysia; Cincinnati, OH, and Indianapolis, IN. In 1999, he was a candidate for Mayor of Indianapolis on an independent ticket.

John co-founded Earth Charter Indiana, served as its Executive Director from 2003 to 2011, and coordinated its decade-long Indiana Bicentennial Initiative Sustainable Indiana 2016, which included co-editing the “Explore Sustainable Indiana: Hoosier Solutions to the Climate Crisis” book. He served on several non-profit Boards including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Center, Mapleton Fall Creek Neighborhood Association, Mid-North Church Council, Training, Inc. and Community, Faith and Labor Coalition. John’s purpose-driven life as a pastor, visionary and social justice advocate inspired many. He was the recipient of NUVO’s 2010 Cultural Vision Lifetime Achievement Award, the Hoosier Environmental Council’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award, and recognized as a 2019 Hoosier Resilience Hero by the Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute.

John, and his wife of 56 years, Anita P. Gibson, are survived by longtime friend, Joyce Flight, with whom John exchanged vows in 2018; sons, Paul (Kathy) Gibson and Steven (Susan) Gibson; daughter, Ruth (David) Clark; grandchildren, Anna and Alex Gibson; John’s sisters, Judy Voss and Jane (Bob) Andrews; brother, Joseph (Hartini) Gibson; sister-in-law, Zilpha Gibson, and many other extended family members, dear friends, and colleagues.

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