Francis “Red” Paul Gibbons, 88 of Gillespie, passed away on March 7, 2023. He was born on March 27, 1934, and was an only child born to parents Paul and Ann Gibbons of Gillespie. He had curly, red hair, chubby cheeks and blue eyes, hence the nickname, “Red.” Frank attended SS Simon and Jude School and graduated from Gillespie High School in 1951.
After high school, he graduated from Harbor College with a degree in business administration. Growing up in Gillespie, Frank spent much of his time with friends going fishing and swimming in the local ponds. Frank mowed 25 lawns a week. In 1948, at age 14, he took several pictures of the tornado that destroyed many homes creating an interest in photography.
In the 10th grade, he met Shirley Allen at the skating rink in Carlinville. Frank drove fast in his 1947 Hudson back and forth from Gillespie to Carlinville chasing the love of his life. Frank and Shirley were married on November 10, 1952, at St. Mary’s Church in Carlinville.
Frank joined the Air Force and was stationed in Riverside, CA. After his discharge, they liked California and decided to stay there. In 1962, after having five children, Frank and Shirley moved to Gillespie to be closer to family where they had two more children. Frank retired from American International Group in 1989.
For the next 10 years, they moved to Sunset Lake, Girard, where they enjoyed boating, fishing, gardening, family get-togethers, and Florida in the winter. Francis was a former member and past president of Sunset Lake, Girard.
After a short illness, Shirley passed away in 1998. Frank met Patricia Van Son from West Covina, CA, and they were married in 1999. Frank and Pat divided their time between CA, IL and AZ. Frank and Pat enjoyed traveling, gambling and spending time with family.
In 2018, Frank decided to live in Illinois full-time to be closer to family. Francis was a former member of the Elks Club, Litchfield, Knights of Columbus, Gillespie and SS Simon and Jude Church, Gillespie.
Frank was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley; grandchildren, Melissa and Ashley Wenzel; favorite uncle, Secondo Ferrari; and parents, Paul and Ann Gibbons.
Frank is survived by his children, Linda (Steve) Haddad of Troy, Connie (John) Wenzel of Benld, Carol (John) Marciukaitis of Gillespie, Gail Dufner Woodland, CA, Brian Gibbons of Clearwater, FL, John Gibbons of Fort Myers, FL, and Lisa (Jeff) Broom of Carlinville; 11 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and lifelong best friend, Richard Sereg of Gillespie.
Private family services will be held at SS Simon and Jude Church with burial in Holy Cross Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Macoupin County Animal Shelter. Kravanya Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.