Almanac

Community - January 6, 2010

Obituary

Frances Jacobson Gibbs

Longtime Ladera resident Frances Jacobson Gibbs, after raising five children, became a social worker for San Mateo County, retired to work as an activities director at the Palo Alto Senior Day Care Center, and then did similar work as a resident of The Sequoias retirement community in Portola Valley.

Ms. Gibbs was 99 when she died peacefully on Jan. 1 at The Sequoias, relatives said.

Frances Jacobson's parents emigrated from Sweden, and her father was a pastor of several Swedish Baptist churches in Wisconsin. Her mother named her after 19th century suffragist and prohibition campaigner Frances Willard, relatives said.

The family eventually moved to Los Angeles, where Frances worked as a librarian for a time to earn money to help her brother through medical school. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Occidental College in 1934.

She married Owen Gibbs in 1938 and moved to Ladera in 1951. She and her husband were founding members of the Ladera Community Church - United Church of Christ, where she led the current-affairs discussion group as well as community book groups. She moved to The Sequoias in 1995.

Ms. Gibbs wrote memorable narratives about her family and experiences, and poems for her Christmas cards, relatives said.

Ms. Gibbs is survived by her children, James Gibbs of Evanston, Illinois, Janet Hunt of Takoma Park, Maryland, Mary Delaney of Willits, California, David Gibbs of Cedar Park, Texas, and Carol Tenter of Bolinas. Other survivors are 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Private funeral services are pending. The family recommends donations in Ms. Gibbs memory be made to a charity or cause of the donor's choice.

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