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Jill Marguerite Gibson passed away July 5, 2022, peacefully while surrounded by her family. She was the oldest of two children born to William and Helen (Miller) Vorheis on September 30, 1944, in Santa Clara, California.
The family moved to San Francisco, California where she spent most of her youth through early adulthood. Jill began working at Levi-Strauss, a job she was very proud of. Jill felt called to the mysterious mountain town of Taos, New Mexico where she worked various construction jobs on the Flag Crew where she met her future husband and father to their three children, John Gibson. The couple was married in 1970 and eventually moved to Tres Piedras, New Mexico.
Jill became a homemaker raising their children while tending to various animals on their small farm in Tres Piedras., New Mexico. Jill relished being surrounded by animals while having the children help collect eggs, feed the sheep, goats, pigs, and the occasional wild duck. She did not relish in occasionally coming home and to finding goats in the house, causing her to shoo them out of the house in a blind rage while attempting to load a single shot .22 caliber rifle as the children tried to scurry the goats to safety or posing as human shields.
A talented artist and cook Jill fell in love with the food of northern New Mexico and diligently learned the ways of the world’s best cuisine (That’s right, suck it Colorado) while making sure beans, chili, and tortillas were always at the ready for her family. As an artist, she learned the skills of beadwork and would go on to sell necklaces and earrings at various craft fairs, shops and restaurant displays, and occasionally giving them to her sons’ girlfriends as free advertising. Later on, she became involved in paper-casting and worked with various artists in the Taos area turning their works into a two-dimensional medium of their paintings.
In the mid 80’s she became a licensed hairstylist experimenting with her daughter’s beautiful hair with various perm styles and made sure her sons stayed in the forefront of style with the latest chic mullet to send the message that they were all business in the front but also partied in the back. It was the 80’s so there was no such thing as a bad haircut.
Jill had a love for crocheting and was taught by her grandmother at a young age and became a master making everything from baby clothes to stuffed animals. She even once One time even making made her sons crocheted sweaters in the colors of their favorite NFL team while their friends got actual jerseys, but that’s okay their friends thought they had cool sweaters.
A dedicated parent in the most extreme way Jill fostered the mindset of finishing what one started all by leading by example making sure each child made every practice, game, concert, no matter what insane hour in the morning or late the return. Not afraid to voice her opinion to her children’s coaches she was quick to remind them that even though they were the coach, she was the agent that held the contract.
Jill surrounded herself with an eclectic group of friends occasionally taking in the stray artist or storyteller embodying the notion that you learn the most by doing strange things with weird people. As an avid reader she loved discussing and debating books with her children with the staunch message that if you don’t read and think the Pale Horse of Stupid will come for you sooner rather than later.
Nature was a strong calling to her, and she loved being outside. Whether it was camping, picking pinon, searching for wild berries, or gardening she used it as a platform to educate her children outside of the classroom repeating the phrase “A child who is only educated in school, is an uneducated child.”
Disappointed that extreme sports were not a part of her generation, many family weekends were spent down at the John Dunn Bridge in the Rio Grande gorge where she repeatedly jumped off the bridge with the rest of the feral youth of Taos County into the cool summer waters of the Rio Grande. Motivated by the acceptance of the young John Dunn bridge jumping culture, she resorted to taunting her children calling them chickens, wimps, and pansies until they reluctantly jumped off the bridge to get initiated, which later turned into a family addiction to bridge jumping. “Your mom is crazy bro!” Seemed to be the winning phrase of those days.
A believer in the notion that it takes a village to raise a child Jill embraced the friends of her children many times acting as a surrogate parent to them willing to sit down and listen, have a meal, and occasionally even provide a place to live. As her children and their friends occasionally would come home way past the typical bedtime she would come out of her bedroom and say: “There’s beans and chili in fridge.” Was her cryptic message of there is shelter and safety here, no questions asked because, you know, no questions should be asked after two in the morning anyway.
As Jill passed surrounded by her three children, they received one last good-spirited scolding making sure she got the last word with her straight-forward approach to humor she left her children with one final pearl of wisdom: “If you can’t laugh at dying, then maybe you shouldn’t die.” She said some other stuff too, but this is not the place for those words.
Keep laughing mom.
Jill is preceded in death by her husband John Gibson, parents William Vorheis and Helen MacMillan, and survived by her brother Tsogtor, children Donovan (Jenna) Gibson of Jamestown, North Dakota, Kristy (Jason) Rice of Cerro, New Mexico, Jon Gibson of Albuquerque, New Mexico and grandchildren, Gavin, Kendra, Logan, Zach, Mason, Jayden, Elijah, and Rowan.
Jill requested that her remains be scattered at Hopewell Lake with her husband which will take place at a later date with close friends and family.
In lieu of flowers the family would kindly request donations to the Questa Public Library so the aforementioned Pale Horse of Stupid comes for as few as possible.
The family of Jill Marguerite Gibson has entrusted the care of their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home of Taos. 866-657-4019 www.devargastaos.com
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