Capt. Robert Alexander "Hoot" Gibson Jr.

11/17/38 - 3/11/16

Photo courtesy of Capt. Pinky Clark

Capt. Bob Gibson was born in Newport, R.I. He was a standout high school basketball player and won a scholarship to Providence College. There, he and future NBA Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens helped lead Providence to the NIT final in 1960.

After college, having grown up sailing at the Ida Lewis Yacht Club in Newport, Bob crewed on several international races, including a five-month, trans-Atlantic race to Italy, an adventure of a lifetime for a 22 year old. For much of the 1960s, he worked at Derecktor Ship Yard in Mamaroneck, N.Y. He crewed on several 12-meter boats and raced in the America’s Cup, including on the "Weatherly" which won in 1962. During winters, he and his buddies skied his favorite mountain, Mad River Glen.

By 1967, Bob had became an airline pilot, flying for Seaboard, Flying Tigers and FedEx. His earliest flying jobs took him to small towns like Stowe Vt., where he met his wife, Sabine. They married in 1969, and with some detours, made a home in Kent Conn. where they raised their two sons. Bob introduced them to camping and skiing, taking countless early drives to hockey practice, beach vacations, and trips to Europe to get to know their relatives. He exposed them to foreign cultures and languages and the curiosity to explore.

In Kent, Bob was an active early member of the Fire Department, and a founding member of the volunteer ambulance and Lions Club. He coached his sons and their friends in baseball, and supported the fledgling tennis and ski teams at Housatonic Valley Regional High School.

During down time between flying, he co-founded Baxter and Gibson Real Estate, which carried him and his family through many airline furloughs. and provided countless young people with affordable housing in the town. Bob retired in 2006 in Kent and continued to enjoy two of his passions; playing tennis at Kent School and his regular book club. He also spent a lot of time with his growing family in Oregon.

Bob is survived by his wife of 47 years, Sabine, of Kent; sons Ryan and his wife Sally; Neil and his wife Colleen; four grandchildren, Luke, Sawyer, Maggie and Amelia, all of Portland, Ore.; his brother John and wife Tina and their children and family; and sister-in-law Denise and husband Michal Thomas of Portsmouth, R.I. He was predeceased by his youngest brother, Larry in 2004, and his parents.

Bob is seen here at the SPAR reunion in Portsmouth, N.H., July 2006.

Seaboard Home Page