Marion Blanton Gibson

April 25, 2016

Marion Blanton Gibson, 82, passed away peacefully on Monday, April 25, 2016 after a courageous battle with brain cancer. She is remembered as a loving wife, mother and loyal friend.

Marion was born on November 27, 1933 in Charlotte, daughter of the late Auty O. and Elizabeth Bennett Blanton. She was predeceased by her two brothers, Auty O. Blanton, Jr. and Stewart B. Blanton.

She attended local Charlotte schools and graduated with high honors from Central High School in 1951. Marion received her BS in Chemistry from Duke University in 1955 and was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority. Following graduation, she worked for Celanese Corporation in the R&D lab for several years and was a member of the American Chemical Society.

Marion devoted her life to raising a family and was heavily involved in PTA work and as a team mother for the various sports teams her children were involved in. She was a lifelong member of Myers Park United Methodist Church, member of the Mint Museum Auxiliary and the Friends of the Mint. Since 1985, she proudly served as Annual Fund Reunion Gift Chair for the Duke University Class of 1955.

After raising her family, Marion went back to school to take her passion of traveling and planning family trips to the next level and became a travel agent. She opened her own firm, Gibson Travel & Cruises in 2001 and enjoyed helping people plan memorable trips across the country and around the world. She retired in 2013.

Marion was known for her boundless energy, charming wit, infectious laugh, and a smile that would light up a room. In addition to her love of gardening, she had a passion for cooking and enjoyed entertaining her friends and family with culinary delights. Always thoughtful, she took great joy in sharing her recipes with her son, Paul.

Marion dearly loved her "Bassett Girls", friends she made her freshman year at Duke in Bassett Dormitory and was close to for over 65 years. They made numerous trips to see each other over the years and exchanged countless emails and phone calls. She was also blessed to have a close group of friends in Charlotte who gathered monthly to play bridge and to visit with one another. Marion cherished their lifelong friendship.

Marion is survived by her husband of 55 years, Paul E. Gibson, of Charlotte, her daughter, Elizabeth Gibson Hopkins and her husband, Tom Vasiliauskas of Chapel Hill and son Paul E. Gibson, Jr. and his partner, Raine Mercer of Charlotte.

A memorial service will be held in the sanctuary of Myers Park United Methodist Church at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, April 29, 2016 with the Reverend Barbara Barden officiating. The family will receive friends following the memorial service in the church vestibule. A private burial will follow the service.

The family would like to thank Dr. Justin Favaro, Lisa Kelley, NP and the nursing staff at Oncology Specialists of Charlotte, Dr. Scott McGinnis and the radiology staff at Novant Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Henry Friedman and Dr. Dina Randazzo at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke, the nursing staff at the Pavilion at Brightmore and Brian Stone and Betsy Jenkins with Liberty Hospice for their care and compassion for Marion.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke, DUMC Box 3624, Durham, NC 27710 or to the Duke Annual Fund, Box 90581, Durham, NC 27708.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Services, 1321 Berkeley Ave Charlotte NC 28204. Phone: 704 641-7606

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