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 Robert Joseph “Bob” Gibbons

Robert Joseph “Bob” Gibbons

Kirksville, Adair County, Missouri, USA
Death 2 Jan 2015 (aged 59)
El Cajon, San Diego County, California, USA
Burial Monticello, Lewis County, Missouri, USA
Memorial ID 93423496 · View Source
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One day in February 1955, Mama brought home a new baby. She told us his name was Robert William, and he had been born in Kirksville, MO. We just called him Bobby. Later in life, he changed his name to Robert Joseph Gibbons. Although we already had six children in the family, we were all delighted to have a new little boy. Our hearts were full of love, and we felt there was always room for one more.

Since we lived in a very small trailer in Edina, MO, space was at a premium with so many children. Mama and Mary slept in the bed in the bedroom, and I slept at their feet. Rose and Bernie slept on the couch in the living room. Bill slept in a roll-away bed in a tiny, wooden shed pushed up against the back door of the trailer, and Amy slept on the kitchen table, so Bobby was put in a wicker clothes basket to sleep.

From the very beginning, I made Bobby my own little baby and changed his diapers and got up in the night to get his bottle for Mama. He was like a little doll to me, and he and I became very close. In 1956, we moved back to the old farm in Lewis Co., MO, and Bernie and I played with him a lot, and he was just a little companion for us. Like all children, we teased him a lot, but he knew we loved him anyway, and he loved us in return.

When Mother remarried in 1958, we left the old farm and moved to a small farm in Clark Co., MO, near Gregory Landing. From the beginning, Bobby and our new stepfather Francis did not get along, and Mother did not treat Bob the way she should have when he was a child, so he does not have fond memories of his life at home.

As long as I was living at home, I tried my best to shelter Bobby from whatever hurts I could, but unfortunately, I had to leave him all too soon, and in 1960, he was left without his big sister to help buffet him from some of the ill treatment. I have very little knowledge of how life was for him after this time except for a few basic facts. I do know that he was an exceptionally intelligent child, and I remember a few of the cute remarks he made as a little boy. One time when he put his hands in water he asked, "Why does water get you so wet?" Another time, looking up at the stars in the sky, he wondered, "Who pokes those holes in the sky?"

Bob would probably have started school in 1960 at Gravel Hill, a two-room country school, and he attended school here through 4th grade. Later when Mother had left Francis and was living in Canton, he attended school there through 9th grade. By this time, Mother was working at the Post Office, and when she transferred to Springfield, IL, in 1970, Bob again changed schools and went to school in Ashland, IL, where he graduated. At some time during his school years, the teacher commented on his report card that he was not working up to his capacity even though he was getting perfect grades.

Bob made the decision to enter the United States Navy and served honorably from September 1973 to September 1977. To quote him, "I was in the Navy 3 years, 11 months, 29 days, 6 hours, and a few additional minutes." While in the Navy, he traveled all over the world and held jobs as air intercept controller, anti-submarine air controller, and nuclear weapons sentry.

According to Bob some of the jobs he has held include printer, air traffic controller, delivery driver, gravedigger, plumber's helper, mover, auto parts dispatcher, farm laborer, fast food worker, building maintenance worker, and "occasionally husband and father—I've been doing the last two full-time for the last 2 years now, finally."

On 15 May 1976, Bob married Rosanna Ruth Hartsell in El Cajon, CA. They lived for a while in California, then returned to Illinois, where they lived in Hanna City. They later returned to El Cajon, where they now live.

Bob and Rosanna have three children, Carmen, Nick, and Jon. Carmen married Richard Bowen Micheli & they have 2 children. Nick and Jon are both unmarried.

Family Members


  • Created by: Lillie Riney
  • Added: 10 Jul 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 93423496
  • genealogygirl
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Joseph “Bob” Gibbons (3 Feb 1955–2 Jan 2015), Find A Grave Memorial no. 93423496, citing Zion Hill Cemetery, Monticello, Lewis County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Lillie Riney (contributor 22403448) .