Richard Gibian passed away September 4, 2015 at the age of 95. He was born in Montgomery, Alabama on October 22, 1919 to Julian and Lucille Newman Gibian. He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Betty Rose Leva Gibian; sisters Terry Bernstein and her husband Phil and Julia Wise and her husband Ed and sister-in-law Joan Leva Marx and husband Bob.
He is survived by his son, Richard, Jr. and wife Kathy and daughters Gail Gibian and Joan Gibian Looney. He is also survived by his grandchildren Rick Looney and his wife, Lisa, Kelly Looney Dawson and her husband, Todd, Jackson Looney and his wife, Nicole, Emily Gibian, Olivia Gibian and James Gibian; great-grandchildren, Lev and Ari Looney, Caroline, Owen and Lilly Dawson and Rivers Looney. He is also survived by his nephew, Phil Bernstein and wife Susan and nieces Anne Bernstein Enslen and husband Bob, Julie Bernstein Goolsby and husband Bill, Lucy Wise Gipstein and husband Brian, Terry Wise Glasser and husband Paul, Beth Marx and Amy Marx Goodman and husband Lee.
Mr. Gibian graduated from Lanier High School in 1937 and Georgia Tech in 1942. After graduation, he enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program, where he later became a flight instructor for advanced pilot training. He volunteered for combat as a fighter pilot and flew 87 combat missions in the European Theater. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and later received the French Legion Medal of Honor. He was truly a member of the “Greatest Generation”.
After the war, he met and married Betty Rose Leva. He joined his father-in-law, Jackson Leva, at American Candy Manufacturing Company. Upon Mr. Leva’s death, he acquired the business and grew it into a leading international company.
Richard loved Selma and contributed his time and talents by serving on many boards and volunteering with several organizations in the community. He was a member of Temple Mishkan Israel.
Graveside services will be Sunday, September 6, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. in Old Live Oak Cemetery with Steve Grossman officiating and Lawrence Brown-Service Funeral Home directing.
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