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A.J. Gibbs

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A.J. Gibbs of Corona, N.M., died July 14, 2018, after a happy and industrious life. He was 82.

A.J. was born September 15, 1935, in Quanah, Texas, the oldest son of five children, to Ora Bell Estill Gibbs and Alvis Craven Gibbs. He spent his early years in Texas and Oklahoma, 1959-1964 in the U.S. Army, and the rest of his life in Clovis and Corona. He ranched and served as a law enforcement officer and livestock inspector for the New Mexico Livestock Board, rising through the ranks to assistant director and retiring early in 1983.

Family was the most important thing to A.J.

He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He often urged his children and grandchildren to follow their dreams.

He served his chosen community in a number of ways: as a Village of Corona Councilman and Trustee for two terms and as a Justice of the Peace. He volunteered diligently to make Corona more beautiful and welcoming to residents and visitors alike. He helped restore the Corona Museum and helped establish and improve the Corona Senior Citizens Center. He was instrumental in the early formation of the Sloan-Simpson Memorial Park and continued to improve the facility as it transformed from unimproved land to a baseball park and later to include a fishing pond, walking trail and other amenities.

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A.J. never sought praise for his work and when his name was suggested on a community ballot to name the pond, he went around town scratching his name off. He led a push to name it “Silver Pond” in honor of the silver-haired men who brought it into being.

He was a quiet man, not fond of crowds, social events or traveling. When he got to know you and accepted you as a friend, his loyalty was unmatched. He never swore in mixed company and rarely uttered an unkind word. When he did speak, people listened, knowing his opinions were well-considered and his advice grounded in logic, consideration and wisdom.

He like to read, garden and play games. His love of fishing led him to fishing holes all over the state of New Mexico and West Texas. His skill at dominoes, cards and chess provided countless evenings of entertainment for him, his family and friends. Those with whom he shared his sense of humor were truly fortunate. He was known to sneak surplus zucchini and tomatoes into other people’s cars while they weren’t looking.

He met his wife, Jeanene Fuller Gibbs, on a blind date set up by mutual friends. They spent nearly 51 inseparable years together in Clovis and Corona, until her death in the spring of 2018.

Afterward, he simply had no interest in living without her.

A.J. was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Kirk Gibbs and Don Gibbs, and his beloved wife, Jeanene. Survivors include their children, Fenner Jason Gibbs, of Corona, Kennan Austin Gibbs (Sharon) of Rio Rancho, and Kelly Gibbs Brewer (Steve) of Albuquerque; grandchildren Seth Brewer (Jalila) of Albuquerque and Max Brewer of Albuquerque; niece Amanda Fuller Richards (Andrew) of State College, PA; sister El Juena Jacquez and brother Archie Gibbs and their families, all of Clovis; and a host of other relatives and admirers near and far.

In keeping with A.J.’s wishes, family and friends are invited to a simple graveside service Sunday, July 29, at 12:30 p.m. in Corona. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages memorial contributions to the Village of Corona Park Fund. Contributions can be dropped by Village Hall, on Main Street, or mailed to the A.J. Gibbs Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 37, Corona, NM, 88318.