Gregory Alan Gibbs was born May 10, 1968. At that time in history, people with Down Syndrome were still being institutionalized. His parents, Donald and Shannon Gibbs (MacManiman) refused that option and brought him home so that he could be loved and show love throughout his 52 years.
Greg was first and foremost a strong believer in God and his faith never wavered. He was brought up at Wallowa Christian Church and even though he moved to other churches in other towns, Wallowa Christian Church would always be home. His mind, body and soul all were strong in his belief and he would be the first to let you know.
He went to special education classes in Joseph, OR under the teaching of Jeff Bender-Baird, the first teacher among many that made Greg feel special and truly taught him as a person that could learn. He loved to learn and this love was nurtured when he was one of the first kids to be “mainstreamed” into public school. He entered the Wallowa School program in the 4th grade and from this point on was a model for Cougar Pride. Once he entered high school, he became the sports manager of football with Terry Crenshaw being his role model. Mr. Crenshaw was yet another teacher that Greg idolized and had a special relationship with. Greg enjoyed shop, forestry and loved to dance. He would always be the first to show off his moves at school dances. Greg lettered in football, band, and choir. Even though there was some normal bullying, he had a greater fan base of people that protected and loved him. His best friend, Jimmy Quinby, always had his back. High school was his favorite time in his life.
Greg could talk your ear off about dinosaurs, Power Rangers and Transformers. If you did not know anything about Optimus Prime when you started having a conversation, you would know a little about him afterwards. History and Presidents were also two subjects Greg loved to learn and talk about. He would read books and search the internet and try to know as much as he could about everything he was interested in. He loved his animals, little and big and remembered every dog that was ever part of his family. Greg was so proud of anyone that was in the service or emergency personnel. Police officers were his best friends, whether they knew it or not.
Greg moved with his parents in 2004 to Texas as the need to be closer to his younger sister and guardian was important. He was involved in Rocky Top Equine Therapy as a volunteer and as a client. He liked to keep helmets clean, sweep the floors and clean the saddles. His favorite horses were Jasper and Tiny and was able to participate and earn medals during Chisholm Challenge at the Fort Worth Stock Show and other Special Olympic riding competitions.
In 2016 Greg had learned about group homes and wanted to move to one. We searched and found the best one that met his needs at the time. He moved to Rock House in Stephenville, TX and enjoyed being involved in many activities including camp, karaoke, and bowling. He lived with 5 other guys in a “bachelor pad” and learned skills to help him thrive, which he did. He enjoyed his family at his home away from home and participated in life. He loved them all and they loved him. They let him know he was important.
His memory was starting to fade and his daily struggles were getting harder. He passed away on November 17, 2020 quickly due to a blood clot with an entourage of police officers, firemen and EMTs, the way he would have wanted it. We are sure he was watching with much joy because he was getting so much attention from the workforce he loved so much.
Greg will be missed by his family and friends. He is survived by his loving mother, Shannon (MacManiman) Gibbs: his siblings, Ric Gibbs, Kari Frolander, Jill Hiatt and their families. Our prayer is that along the way he showed others how amazing the heart and soul is. Learn about others and show compassion to each person you meet. His family wishes to send their love to all that knew Greg and have supported us in this time of grieving.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gregory Alan Gibbs, please visit our floral store.