Thomas M. Gibbons, 88, of Bonita Springs, FL, entered eternal life on Sunday, June 1, 2014, surrounded by his loving family. Tom was the last of five children born to Irish immigrants, Michael and Elizabeth Gibbons on November 30, 1925, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was preceded in death by his brothers, James and David, and his sister Mary Garvey. He is survived by his sister Margaret Walsh. Upon graduating from high school in 1943, Tom enlisted in the Naval Air Corps where he served as in the South Pacific. When World War II ended in 1945, he enrolled at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he played varsity football, majored in history, and graduated in three years. On St. Patricks Day in 1947, he was introduced to Rita Mae Nicholas. Later that same day, he told a friend that he had just met the girl he was going to marry. They were married on January 14, 1950. Tom began an exceptional career in the telecommunications industry in 1949 as a service representative with Ohio Bell, while attending law school at night. Between 1949 and 1969, he held various positions of increased responsibility with the C&P Telephone Company in Wheeling, WV, Charleston, WV, Washington D.C., and Baltimore, MD. In 1969, he was named Vice President & General Manager of C&P Telephone Company of WV. In 1973, he became Asst. Vice President Exchange Services & Market Research for AT&T. In 1975, he was named Vice President of C&P Telephone Company of MD and in 1979, he became Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of the C&P Telephone Companies, a major subsidiary of Bell Atlantic (now Verizon) with operations in VA, MD, WV and DC. He was named President & Chief Operating Officer in 1983, President & Chief Executive Officer in 1984, and Chairman & Chief Executive Officer in 1988. Tom also served on numerous corporate boards, including The First National Bank of Maryland, American Security Bank, Crown Central Petroleum Corporation, and Maryland National Financial Corp. Upon his retirement in 1990, Tom continued serving on several corporate boards including the New Zealand Telephone Company, where his industry expertise was invaluable in improving telephone service in that country. Improving the lives of others was always a priority to Tom. In 1988, he served as President of the Telephone Pioneers of America; the largest industry-related volunteer organization in the world, comprised of current and retired telecommunications employees. In addition, he served on the boards of the United Way of Central Maryland, University System of Maryland Foundation, Loyola University of Maryland, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Notre Dame of Maryland University, and the National Aquarium in Baltimore. He was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award at John Carroll University in 1987 and received an honorary degree from Salem College in 1988. Tom was a member of the Federal Association of the Knights of Malta. After he retired, Tom served as a peer counselor for The Mental Health Association of Southwest FL and volunteered in the respite program of St. William Parish, Naples, FL. Tom was happiest when surrounded by family. Once his children started having families of their own, he began a tradition of the entire Gibbons family gathering for Thanksgiving (his favorite holiday) which has continued for over 35 years. He was Bops to his 24 grandchildren who adored him; each enjoying their own special relationship. Tom will be deeply missed but he leaves his entire family the enduring gift of a life well lived. Tom is survived by his wife of 64 years Rita and their 8 children, 24 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Children: Michael (Sondra), Timothy (Christine), Gregory (Rebecca), Kathleen Pickens, Thomas (Alice), Mary Myers (Jack), Brian (Martha) and David (Mary Clark). Grandchildren: Jennifer Barnesky (Jeff), Jeffrey, Thomas M. (Megan), David, Mark, Kaitlyn, Jessica Sypert (David), Daniel, Colleen Russell (Rich), Andrea Hubschmann (Brian), Lara, Thomas P., Matthew, Michele, Michael, Alexandra Laperouse (Alex), Colin, Megan, Brian, Andrew, Kathleen, Matille, Allison, and Bridget. Great-grandchildren: Olivia, Molly, Allison, Emma, Madeline, Andrew, Ava, Kate, Natalie, Charles, Jack and Sally, and numerous nieces and nephews. Mass of Christian burial will be held at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore where Tom and Rita were long-time parishioners at 1:00 p.m. Friday, June 6, 2014, with Msgr. J. Bruce Jarboe officiating. Ruck Funeral Home in Towson is in charge of the arrangements, where there will be visitation on Thursday, June 5, 2014 from 5 to 8 p.m. A rosary will be prayed at the funeral home at 7:30 p.m. Final resting place will be at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium, MD. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to any of the following: Hospice of the Chesapeake, 90 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, MD 21122, the , or John Carroll University, 1 John Carroll Blvd., University Heights, OH 44118.