Royal John Gibson 1905 - 1986 memories and photos
Royal Gibson in 1922, Fond du Lac High School

Royal and his twin brother, Ross, were born on 16 July 1905 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, the sons of Roy and Mary Helen (Bricker) Gibson.

As a student at Fond du Lac High School, Royal participated on the Debate Team and continued that interest at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His early interest in bible studies foreshadowed his career choice.

While attending Kalamazoo College, Royal roomed at the home of Charles Lewis. It was there he became acquainted with Charles' daughter, Helen. After a Thanksgiving break train trip to California in 1928, Helen learned she was expecting a baby. Royal decided to complete his degree, then continue his education on the east coast. Helen gave their daughter, whom she named Jacqueline Lewis, up for adoption at birth. Rosemarie Jacquelyn Schulte became the much loved daughter of Joe and Sadie Schulte in October 1929.

In 1934 Royal graduated from Hartford Seminary in Hartford Connecticut, where he was a Jacobus Fellow, then obtained his clinical training in Boston in 1942. He was a minister in Montana, Minnesota and Maine. Between 1949 and 1963 he served as minister for the Central South Conference of the Congregational Churches in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas, then moved to Hartford in 1963, where he had been elected the minister of church development of the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ. He was active in Conference, Association and Church Homes activities. After retiring in 1971, Royal was a guest and interim minister in many United Churches of Christ in Connecticut.

Royal wed a fellow seminary student, Elsie Edith Fuller, on 27 May 1934. During their marriage they enjoyed travels to Mexico, England and other countries in Western Europe. They had two sons, Royal Bricker and David Andre.

Rosie had always wondered if she had any siblings. Helen Lewis had provided Royal's name to Rosie's daughters, Mariana and Darleen and granddaughter, Jill, in August 1995. Through subsequent research in the following years Mariana was able to contact Brick with the hope of connecting more of Rosie's family. In July 1999, Brick and his wife, Carolyn, graciously invited Rosie's genealogy trio to their home in Massachusetts where they all met for the first time and shared family memories.

On 22 January 1986, Royal, who had been ill with pancreatic cancer, suffered a heart attack and died at age 80. A memorial service was held on 2 February 1986 at Emmanuel Congregational Church. Spanning his long career, Reverend Gibson had the respect and admiration of his congregation members and colleagues. His loving wife, who was also a Reverend, had served as a Protestant observer at Vatican II and was a widely published ecumenical author, died 9 November 2003 in Hartford.