Gibson dies at age 72

Published 3:37 pm Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dr. Leo E. Gibson of Picayune passed away on Sunday, June 15, at the age of 72. He practiced medicine in Picayune for 36 years as an OB/GYN, followed by a five year retirement. It is said by some, during his years of practice, it was rare a baby was born in this town that he didn’t deliver.

Mary Alice Penton, Dr. Gibson’s nurse of 17 years, worked by his side and got to know him pretty well. “I was a good boss to him,” she joked.

Penton said that Dr. Gibson was an easy person to work for, and they never had cross words with each other.

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She also couldn’t say enough about the way he treated his patients. According to her, he was extremely caring and empathetic. He once told Penton that a Professor instructed him to always listen to his patients. Penton reported, he did just that.

For the entire 36 years Dr. Gibson served Picayune, he did so from his Fifth Avenue clinic, The Doctor’s Clinic, with his partner Dr. C.J. Blackburn. While Dr. Gibson joined what Blackburn initially started, the pair reportedly got along great and made a good team.

“[Dr. Gibson] took an interest in Picayune,” Penton said. She noted he served on the board at the library for a number of years and the board of the Picayune Country Club.

She also said that Dr. Gibson had a number of hobbies including flying and boating. By the time she started with the practice, he had purchased a farm and enjoyed growing veggies and raising cattle.

Originally a native of Lynchburg, Va., Dr. Gibson studied medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and completed his residency at University Medical Center in Jackson. He also served two years in the Air Force at Big Springs, Texas.

Visitation took place Thursday morning at McDonald Funeral Home in Picayune, and was followed by the funeral service. The burial took place in the New Palestine Cemetery.

Dr. Gibson was preceded in death by his parents, Leo E. Gibson, Sr. and Pearl Thompson Gibson; one sister, Louise B. Gibson; and his late wife, Jeannie B. Gibson.

He is survived by his wife, Lisa Gibson of Picayune; his daughters and sons-in-law, Karen Leigh and Robert Savage of Birmingham, Ala., Laura Anne Gibson of Daphne, Ala., Kristy L. Edwards and Michael Nelson of Picayune; his grandchildren, Erinn Elizabeth Savage, Alayna LeAnne Nelson; his step-daughters, Jodi Carroll and David Skantz of Picayune, Rachel and Dale Atkins of Walker, La., Angie and Jason Fruge’ of Livingston, La.; his stepson, Matthew Cookmeyer of Picayune; his step-grandchildren, Seth Pierce, Caitlin, Breanna and Jason, Jr. Fruge’, Matilyn and Logan Cookmeyer, Avi Lynn Skantz, Taylor and Michael Nelson, Jr.

The family of Dr. Gibson requests, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made, in his memory, to the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library, 900 Goodyear Blvd. in Picayune.

Sadly he will be missed, but fondly he will be remembered.