Jan Gibson – Celebration of Life Ceremony

Sat, Apr 30, 2022 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Welcome to the livestream of the Celebration of Life Ceremony for Jan Gibson


Janette Mary Gibson (nee Rawson), 1946-2020

It is with great sadness that we announce that Jan died on November 11, 2020, at St. John’s Hospice, Vancouver. She is survived by her husband Ronald, children Glyn (Lacey), Jamie (Leila) and Matthew and grandchild Kian.

Jan was born September 17, 1946, the daughter of Robert (old Bob) and Joyce Rawson. She grew up in the town of Putaruru in the pastoral Waikato region of New Zealand with her older brother Tom and younger brother John. She graduated from Putaruru High School in 1963 where she was Head Girl, and captain of the netball team. She attended the University of Waikato in Hamilton, studying social science and geography. After graduation, she worked as a high school teacher in Putaruru and then Christchurch.

In 1971, she met her husband Ron while tramping (hiking) near Christchurch. They were married in 1974 in Saskatoon, half a world away. They were enthusiastic travelers and enjoyed three years in Île-à-la-Crosse, a remote village in northern Saskatchewan and then working with CUSO in Tanzania for two years where Jan assessed projects of benefit to women. When they had a family, they settled at first in Auckland and then in Vancouver.

Her children were the world for her, for whom she provided a wonderful childhood, and she never stopped encouraging them, nurturing them and daring them. She was deeply loyal and caring to her friends and family.

Jan enjoyed plants, cooking, mushroom hunting, birding, cycling, reading whodunits and new ideas. She was proud of being a Kiwi: it was “Mum” (never “Mom”) and school geography projects were expected to be about New Zealand. She loved a cup of tea, the family cats (Socrates, Topaz, Sampson), the cottage at Galiano, but especially her family.

Jan was a strong and caring person. She was curious about people and always inquired into the world around her. She had a sharp mind and a ferociously funny wit (if you weren’t in the crosshairs). Jan was independent and had a hidden competitive streak, which emerged in the occasional wasabi eating contest. She felt a strong obligation to help others, and her belief in justice and compassion was an example for her family. Jan always championed the disadvantaged. She made her home a place of comfort for many.

In 2010, Jan was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Ron provided loving care for her through her illness. During this time, she was delighted to celebrate the marriage of her son of Jamie to Leila, the marriage Glyn to Lacey, and to welcome her grandson Kian into the family.
When her time drew short, she was surrounded by her loving family and warmed by the many wishes and prayers of those whose lives she had brightened.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to the Sheilah Thompson Refugee Fund c/o Unitarian Church of Vancouver or Myeloma Canada


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