Joel E. Gibbons Jr., 80, died Feb 21 at the Hospice Care Center, St. Joseph Hospital, Lexington. He was born in Muskogee, Okla., and grew up in Conway Ark., but spent his adult life in Versailles, Georgetown and Wilmore. Joel was a journalist, 1st class, Navy in the Korean war. He graduated from the University of Kentucky in business where he later worked as the director of purchasing. He retired from working for the commonwealth.
Joel Gibbons was a man who thought "outside of the box" before the box was defined. He enjoyed complicated, analytical and procedural problems. In his retirement, he was an avid student of contemporary culture, news and politics. He had a bright intellect, a philosophical nature and a kind heart, a true southern gentleman.
His favorite activities were simple: watching ballgames with his son Stanley and wife Shelia Gibbons of Paris, and Joel and wife Debbie Gibbons III of Nicholasville, traveling to visit his daughter Suzanne and husband David O'Clair of Poulsbo, Wash., and playing word games and punning-around with his daughter, Jill and husband Nasser Mirhosseyni of Springfield, Ore.