James Stuart Gibson Jr., 76, of Boise, completed his life on March 22, 2008, in Boise after complications from a stroke. He was surrounded by friends and his favorite classical music.
Jim was born to Catherine Harkins Gibson and James Stuart Gibson on April 4, 1931, in Youngstown, Ohio. Jim attended Youngstown College for the first year and then transferred and graduated from the University of Maryland. While in college he was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and also actively involved in Air Force ROTC.
From 1954 to 1956 he served as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. Pursuing his entrepreneurial visions, he purchased and ran the largest number of Golden Point restaurants—one of the early fast food chains—on the East Coast. He discovered that his true passion lay in real estate development. Jim founded and was CEO of Real Estate Central, which developed properties in Rockville, Germantown and Upper Marlboro, Md., as well as Bealeton, Va. One of his most forward-thinking properties was 1 Central Plaza on Rockville Pike now across from White Flint Mall in North Bethesda, Md. At a time when very little was there, Jim saw Rockville Pike's potential and created one of the first luxurious and prestigious office buildings in that area, complete with multiple restaurants and a disco.
In 1979, he married Andrea Beard in Sun Valley, Idaho, and together they lived in Bealeton, Va. In 1987 he moved with Andrea and his young daughter, Alexandra, to Sun Valley full time, where he developed the Pinnacles at Greyhawk, a townhouse project at the base of Bald Mountain. He also owned and operated The Pinnacle Inn, a boutique hotel and high-end ski club at the base of the mountain. Jim's greatest achievement in Sun Valley, however, was his strong advocacy for the improvement of all facilities at Bald Mountain, which were substantially behind the facilities of other first-class resorts. Due to this advocacy, the Sun Valley Co. was forced to no longer be complacent, and to make Bald Mountain what it is today, that first-class resort that rivals all others.
Jim is survived by his son J. Stuart Gibson of Potomac, Md.; son Grant and his wife, Leslie Gibson, along with their three children, of Atlanta, Ga.; and his daughter, Alexandra Gibson, of Charlottesville, Va. He is also survived by his sister Mary O'Day and husband, Jim, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; sister, Nancy Gore, and brother Bill both of Annapolis, Md.; brother John and his wife, Mary, of St. Michael's, Md.; his former wife, Andrea; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and by two brothers, Richard and Robert.
A memorial mass to honor his life will be held Saturday, April 19, at 1 p.m. at St. John's Cathedral in Boise. Cremation occurred and interment will be at the Veterans Cemetery in Culpeper, Va. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Bishop Kelley Foundation or the Boise Philharmonic.
"Every great man, every successful man, no matter what the field of endeavor, has known the magic that lies in these words: Every adversity has the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit."—W. Clement Stone