Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Aleene Gibson

Wife, mother, teacher, artist, athlete and adventurista, Aleene Gibson died on Feb. 14, 2009, having lived a fulfilling and complete life.

Born on April 3, 1923, in Tempe, Ariz., Aleene was the third of four children, and was loved by her older and younger siblings for her tenacity and willfulness. Aleene married George W. Gibson in 1948. Traveling and living abroad, together they raised four sons, George, David, Howard and Richard. After living in Idaho Falls for 20 years, George W. and Aleene moved to Hailey, Idaho, where she established herself as the "cookie lady" to all of the kids in their neighborhood.

Aleene embraced long-distance biking and cross-country skiing. A summer's adventure involved a bike ride somewhere in the world. She prided herself on her three coast-to-coast and one Gulf-to-Great Lakes rides and was recognized in 1995 as "Athlete of the Year" in the Idaho Mountain Express newspaper for her athleticism. That same newspaper once ran an article on Aleene dubbing her one "bad-ass granny" for her cross-country skiing and yearly participation in the Boulder Mountain Tour. Aleene loved a brisk winter day on her skis.

Another of Aleene's passions was watercolor. Her beautiful outdoor landscapes were a gracious gift she shared with her friends. Aleene was proud to be included and published in a collection of landscapes titled "Skyline-Landscapes of the Southeastern Idaho School" in 2006. In 1999, Aleene married Ray (Red) Squires, blending two families, and settled into a quieter life in Idaho Falls where she continued to paint, bake cookies and participate in the art scene, volunteering as a docent at the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho. The museum awarded Aleene the Annual Docent Award in March 2005 for her "outstanding cookies and service." Her greatest joy was time with her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, painting and baking cookies.

Aleene was preceded in death by her first husband, George W., in 1992 and her son, Howard, in 1999. Surviving her are her three sons George Neely (Kathy), David and Richard; her brother, Bob Neely of Tempe, Ariz.; and numerous cousins, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in Aleene Gibson's name to the Eagle Rock Art Museum, 300 S. Capital Ave., Idaho Falls, ID 83402. Memorial services were conducted on Feb. 19 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Idaho Falls.

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