Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - January 15, 2010

Deaths

Frances Gibbs

Frances Jacobson Gibbs, 99, a longtime resident of Ladera, died Jan. 1 at The Sequoias in Portola Valley.

Her parents emigrated from Sweden, and her father was a pastor of several Swedish Baptist churches in Wisconsin. Her mother named her after 19th century suffragist and prohibition campaigner Frances Willard, relatives said.

The family eventually moved to Los Angeles, where she worked as a librarian for a time to earn money to help her brother through medical school. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Occidental College in 1934.

She married Owen Gibbs in 1938 and moved to Ladera in 1951. She and her husband were founding members of the Ladera Community Church, where she led the current-affairs discussion group as well as community book groups. She wrote memorable narratives about her family and experiences, and poems for her Christmas cards, relatives said.

After raising five children, she became a social worker for San Mateo County, then retired to work as an activities director at the Palo Alto Senior Day Care Center. She moved to The Sequoias in 1995.

She is survived by her children, James Gibbs of Evanston, Ill.;Janet Hunt of Takoma Park, Md.; Mary Delaney of Willits, Calif.; David Gibbs of Cedar Park, Texas; and Carol Tenter of Bolinas, Calif.;. 10 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Private funeral services are pending. The family recommends donations in her memory be made to a charity or cause of the donor's choice.

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