Helen Mabel Howe Gibbs, 97, passed away at her daughter’s home in Mosier, Ore., on November 6, 2015 from complications of a stroke. She was born at home in Johnson County, Mo., to Flora Catherine (Slusher) and Aaron Francis Howe on May 17, 1918. Born into a large loving family with five older sisters, Fern, Myrl, Etta Mae, Louise and Mildred and two older brothers, Otis and Delmar, and a younger sister, Maxine of Raytown, Mo., who survives her. She was a smart little girl passing through the first, second and third grades in her first year in school. As a young woman she worked at the International Shoe Factory in Higginsville, Mo., a job she fondly reminisced about and where many family members also worked.
In October of 1943, Helen shared a taxi ride with Army Staff Sergeant Thomas Andrew Gibbs, who was stationed at Fort Wayne. He was smitten, she had paid for the taxi ride. They were married on January 10, 1944 at Fort Wayne, Indiana before his deployment to the european-african-middle eastern theatre of World War II. After Tom’s discharge from the army in October of 1945, they moved to Washington state. They were married for 39 years moving around Oregon, Washington, Nevada and California as they followed Tom’s work in the logging and construction industries. He preceded her in death on June 19, 1983. Three children were born and survive them: John of Kalispell, Mont., Brenda Huskey of Mosier, Ore., and August of The Dalles, Ore. Helen was grandmother to six: Tara, Tom, Elena, MaKenzi, Paul and Cassie and great-grandmother to eight, Dustin, Kimberly, James, Evan, Hope, Harmony, Terrin and Kodee.
For the last 47 years, Helen had resided in Dufur, Ore., but no matter where the family lived, she always made a comfortable home with beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. Many a family member, friend and neighbor shared the bounty of those gardens. She will be remembered for her sweet gentle nature, beautiful smile, and her unwavering faith to her God Jehovah. Per her wishes, there will be no funeral services.
If you would like to make a contribution in her memory, please contribute to Heart of Hospice, 2621 Wasco St., Hood River, Oregon, 97031. She so appreciated the great care she received from the nurses and aids of Heart of Hospice and her special friends who made her last days comfortable and special. Bless all of you.
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