Scottie Gibson died peacefully at age 78 on May 24, surrounded by close family, at Pine Ridge Nursing Home in Pagosa Springs, after a very short illness. Cause of death was complications from a stroke and lung cancer. Scottie was a beloved wife, mother and grandmother; highly respected teacher and community volunteer; and a wonderful friend.
She was born in Chicago on Oct. 4, 1938, to David and Helen Elizabeth Stewart. She graduated with a bachelor of science majoring in math and education from Western Illinois University and later earned a master’s degree in education there. On Sept. 5, 1958, Scottie married her husband, Ralph, and they celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2008 at a fun party with family and friends in Pagosa Springs.
Scottie and Ralph lived most of their adult life in Algonquin, Ill., where they raised their son, Gary, and both taught high school math, Scottie mainly at Barrington High School. With both parents being teachers with long summer breaks, the family enjoyed many summertime adventures including hiking, river rafting and camping. Scottie and Ralph retired to Pagosa Springs in 1993.
Scottie was a member of Mensa International, the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. Throughout her life, she enjoyed travel and the outdoors. When she retired to Colorado, she took up skiing and became an active member of the Gray Wolf Ski Club. Later, she was a world traveler, taking trips to Europe and Russia with her cherished grandson, Parker.
Scottie loved opera, classical music and theater. She founded a Ladies Night at the Opera group and also enjoyed playing mahjong and bridge with her lady friends. As an active member of the Pagosa Springs Women’s Civic Club, she served as president, treasurer and holiday bazaar chair. She also served on the Ruby Sisson Memorial Library board of trustees for nine years, was a driver for the Road to Assistance to help cancer patients, a member of the Pagosa Investment Club and a volunteer tutor at the Pagosa Springs Education Center.
Her family remembers Scottie with three words that they say sum up her life — teacher, adventurer and accomplice. Ever interested and involved, she was well-known by her friends for being smart, fun and a joy to be with — truly a friend to admire.
In addition to her husband Ralph, Scottie is survived by her son, Gary, and grandson Parker, of Austin, Texas; her sisters, Linda Stewart White, of Phoenix, and Janet Stewart Hryce, of Denver; nieces and nephews Laura Hryce as well as Dianne, Michael and Jimmy Toomey; and hundreds of wonderful friends in Illinois and Colorado. She was predeceased by her parents and sister Judy Stewart Toomey.
No formal service is planned, but the family thanks all of Scottie’s friends for their support and love during her short illness and knows they are sharing both tears and laughter as they remember Scottie. In her honor, contributions can be made to the Ruby Sisson Memorial Library, P.O. Box 849, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.