July 22, 1950 - August 26, 2018
July 22, 1950 - August 26, 2018
Eric Harp Gibson of Rutherfordton, NC, beloved husband, father and friend passed from this life on August 26, 2018 at the age of 68. Eric was born on July 22, 1950 in Detroit, MI as the third of five children to the late Gale Gibson and Elizabeth “Betty” Augustine Gibson. The son of a Lt. Colonel in the United State Marine Corps, Eric lived in numerous locations including California, Georgia and New Jersey. Spending most of his youth in New Jersey, he graduated from Cherry Hill High School where he enjoyed being on the swim team and helped win the State Championship for football. Eric’s sense of humor, outgoing personality and integrity made it easy for him to form lasting friendships. He continued to keep in touch with his high school buddies and annually they would meet for a reunion in upstate New York. It was during this year’s reunion that Eric died suddenly from a heart attack. Eric played football for Lebanon Valley College and earned his Bachelor of Science from Glassboro State. After college he pursued a career in sales. When a sales job landed him in Dallas he met his future wife, Brenda. They met when Eric was bold enough to accept a dare from a friend to attend an aerobics class. Soon after, they were married in Dallas, TX on June 16, 1984. In 1986, Eric accepted a job offer from AFA in Forest City, NC and he and Brenda relocated to Rutherfordton. The two of them loved Rutherfordton and raised their two children here. A strong believer in public service, Eric was very active in the local community. As a member of Kiwanis, Eric enjoyed helping with Santa’s sled in the Rutherfordton Christmas parade and loved helping with the auction. Eric’s passions were extensive. A member of Order of the Arrow and a Life Scout, he passed the scouting tradition on to his son and was an assistant Scout Master to Troop 132. His favorite honor was being the “Voice of the Eagle” during Eagle award ceremonies. Eric helped found the Rutherfordton Enrichment Council, and was instrumental in the fund raising and planning for the Scout Hut located on Toms Street, one of his proudest endeavors! Shortly after moving to Rutherfordton, Eric and Brenda joined First United Methodist Church. He and Brenda were charter members of the Faith Caravan-Frances McClure Sunday School Class and remained a part of it to present day. At church, he served on various committees including the Board of Trustees. Eric also shared and grew his faith by participating in Community Bible Study. Eric’s other hobbies included scuba diving, boating on Lake James, dancing, 60’s music, James Bond movies, classic cars and attending Gamecock football and tailgating with his daughter Halley. Eric is survived by his wife, Brenda Sowell Gibson; his daughter and her husband, Halley and Spencer Borthen of Columbia, SC; his son, Michael of Austin, TX; his brother and his life partner Stephen Gibson and Carlos Ferreria of Oakland, CA; and his sister and her husband Sarah and Jeffrey Davis of Lafayette, CO. He is also survived by nephews Mark Anderson, Shawn Sowell, Evan Davis, Connor Davis, Grant Davis, and nieces Michelle Anderson, Kyle Taylor, and Julia Taylor. Eric is preceded in death by his brother Michael Gibson, his sister Barbara Gibson Taylor and his nephew Tommy Sowell. A celebration of Eric’s life will be held 11 AM Saturday, September 1, 2018 at First United Methodist Church, 264 North Main Street, Rutherfordton, NC 28139. The family will receive friends following the service at The Hut, 271 North Toms Street, Rutherfordton, NC 28139. Memorial donations may be made in honor of Eric Gibson to the Summer Camp Scholarship Fund for Troop 132, check payable to Troop 132, and mailed to Scout Master, P.O. Box 905, Rutherfordton, NC 28139 or to First United Methodist Church, 264 N Main St, Rutherfordton, NC 28139.
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