Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Tributes, pain for slain scientist




By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WEST CHESTER — The life of George Gibson touched people gently yet deeply. His death hit them hard.

gibson
George Gibson
        “A life lost is a hard thing, but a life taken is unbearable — and it's unacceptable,” said Michael Schafer, who formerly worked with Mr. Gibson at Procter & Gamble.

        Mr. Schafer spoke during a 75-minute memorial service Tuesday for Mr. Gibson, the 47-year-old P&G scientist found shot to death in his Tylersville Road home Friday.

        As police investigated about two dozen leads and prepared for a trip to the city in upstate New York where Mr. Gibson used to live, an overflow crowd exceeding 200 attended the service at West Chester Wesleyan Church.

        Co-workers and friends said Mr. Gibson was known as a man of immense intellect, quiet leadership and great compassion.

        “George was a professional who took a personal approach to business — and was successful at it,” Mr. Schafer said. He said one of the greatest lessons Mr. Gibson demonstrated was that success means helping others be successful.

        Friend Scott Middlestock talked about Mr. Gibson's love for his two Bernese mountain dogs — which were shot to death along with him — and his passion for hiking the Adirondacks.

        Co-worker Mary Richardson said she always marveled at how Mr. Gibson excelled at so many things, ranging from woodworking to bread-baking. She said he never sought recognition for his good deeds.

        “We, too, can do so much good by following his example,” said Mr. Gibson's wife and fellow P&G scientist, Paige Smith. Speaking only briefly, she asked the crowd to join her in reading a Bible verse about love. Then she concluded: “Love never ends — period.”

        Mr. Gibson and Ms. Smith seemed to be the catalysts that made an Oxford, N.Y., church congregation seem like a close-knit family, said the Rev. Ken Barnes, pastor of Oxford United Methodist Church, which the couple attended before moving to West Chester about two years ago.

        The Rev. Mr. Barnes said he was mourning two deaths — the death of Mr. Gibson and the death of “George and Paige,” because the couple did so much together.

        Mr. Gibson was active with Boy Scout organizations and had an unfortunate knack for scheduling camping trips during rainy weather, the Rev. Mr. Barnes said.

        Young and old alike so loved the couple, the Rev. Mr. Barnes said, “because they loved (others) so well.”

        Enquirer reporter Michael D. Clark contributed to this report.

       



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