Howard Wade Gibson, 74, passed away on February 18, 2018 in Overland Park, KS at Menorah Medical Center where he was surrounded by his loving family. A healthy and vibrant man, Howard suffered an unexpected stroke that took his life quickly.
Howard was born in Evanston, IL in 1943 to parents, Murray and Marguerite Gibson. He was the second of four brothers. After moving to LaGrange, IL with his family, he attended Lyons Township High school where he made unbelievable friendships that have lasted to this day. Following a short time at Lyons Township Community College he transferred to the University of Kansas and completed both Bachelors and Masters degrees in business.
On July 31st, 1965, Howard married his sweetheart, Mary Louise St. Clair of Independence, KS. They had a true fairy tale romance right up to the end. During his career in marketing and brand development he worked at Continental Can, Lawrence Leiter, and eventually became President of NPI (New Product Insights). In 1983, Howard went out on his own and founded the Gibson Consulting Group, along with his longtime friend, Mike Starke. Together, they worked on many recognizable brands such as Campbell’s, Johnson and Johnson, and Gillette. After a successful run, Howard chose an early retirement. He spent time golfing, traveling, spending time with friends and for the last 17 years being completely obsessed with his 4 grandchildren. Howard was well recognized at sports games, music performances and other events where he could cheer on his grandchildren.
Howard will be best remembered for being a devoted husband, dedicated father and doting grandfather. He was also a steadfast friend of many. Being friends with Howard was a lifelong commitment, he was dedicated to bringing friends together on a regular basis and a master at maintaining connections. Well known as the life of the party, Howard went out of his way to listen to the stories other people had to tell. He made all feel welcome with his quick smile and welcoming wit.
Howard is survived by his wife of 53 years, Mary Louise St. Clair Gibson; his three brothers: Dennis (Ruth), Brian (Cheri), and Norman (Stephanie); his children and grandchildren: Jim (Michala), Ellie, Kate and Mandy Shoemaker (James), Ben and Sam.
During the last few years, Howard gracefully handled the ups and downs of some mental health challenges. He took on these challenges with an openness and dignity that allowed others to be a part of the solution. In recent months, his daughter, Mandy has worked to address the mental health needs of families in the Blue Valley School District by founding a new parent group, BV Well. Memorial donations can be made to the Blue Valley Educational Foundation. All donations made in Howard’s name will be directed toward BV Well in order to educate and support families as they navigate mental health and wellness with their children. Memorial donations can be mailed to Blue Valley Educational Foundation at 15020 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66223. Or on the website https://fundbv.org/donate Please indicate Howard Gibson memorial gift.