Dr. Donald Gibson, of Antigo, Co-Founder of Raptor Education Group, Inc.,(REGI) died Nov. 1, 2019 at home under the care of LeRoyer Hospice, his family and his turkey - Grace. He was born on July 15, 1933, in Laguna Beach, California the youngest son of John and Gertrude Hevener Gibson. He married Marjorie Cahak on December 19, 1975, in Orange County California. She survives.
Don was raised in Orange County California. He graduated from Covina High School and received his bachelor's degree and medical degree from the University of Southern California (USC).
After graduating from medical school, Don joined the United States Navy Medical Corps. He served as a flight surgeon overseas during the Viet Nam War. Don completed a residency in pathologist at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. After serving 13 years in the Navy and attaining the rank of Commander, Don left military service. He returned to California. He worked as a pathologist for many years in Orange County.
In 1990, Don and Marge moved back to Antigo and founded REGI. A wildlife rehabilitation and education facility for native bird species. It was a lifestyle Don completely embraced.
At the same time, Don was employed as a pathologist with Associates in Pathology of Wausau. Through the pathology group he worked at several hospitals in Central Wisconsin including Langlade Hospital and Aspirus Wausau Hospital. He retired in 1997, to spend more time with family, following the birth of his first grandchild.
Ever the adventurer, Don excelled in many aspects of life. Anything he wanted to do he did and did well often surprising his family with unexpected new interests such a when he arrived home with a hot air balloon and announced that both he and Marge were going to become hot air balloon pilots and they did. Don loved growing orchids, raising racing homer pigeons and a host of other things that interested him including his love and fascination of astronomy.
Don love active sports such as long-distance running and bicycling, downhill skiing, playing tennis, and swimming in the ocean. Don had a fascination with being in the air which led him to receive his private pilot's license while in college and later enjoyed flying his powered parachute into his early 80's.
Survivors including his wife Marge are a son, Darrell Gibson, Phoenix, Arizona; two daughters, Katrinka (Greg) Spiro, Jacksonville, Florida, Sarah (Jon) Petroskey, Antigo; six grandchildren Brock Gibson, Alex Spiro, Hunter and Madalyn Petroskey, Nick and Caleb McAdams; a sister, Carol (Philip) Fraley, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; a sister-in-law, Rosalie (George) Blumenschein, Wilson, Michigan; a brother-in-law, William (Carole) Cahak, Wisconsin Rapids; many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Marjorie Podell; a brother, David Gibson,
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday November 6, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Bradley Funeral Home. Burial will take place in the Bohemian National Cemetery in Neva where Antigo Veterans will conduct military honors. A rehabilitated bald eagle will be released after the committal services.
Visitation will be Tuesday from 3:30 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home and on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until the time of serivces.
In leiu of flowers memorials may be directed to REGI P.O. Box 481 Antigo, WI 54409.
Online condolences at www.bradleyfh.com.
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Prayers for peace and comfort during this time of need.
Hi Marge, So sorry for your loss. I believe I met both of you at Pinewood Supper club this past summer. I had a nice talk with you's about my cancer and up coming transplant. He was so positive and passionate and gave me some great advice. God Bless Randy Ziemanski
Dr. Gibson, was a kind hearted man who served both the central Wisconsin medical and conservation communities for decades. Always the gentleman and a scholar he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his equally delightful and engaged wife Marge and their amily.
Dear Marge and Family, I was so sad to hear of Dr. Gibsons passing, although we have never met in person I felt I knew the family through Tori, turns out that I only knew a smidgen of the wonderful person he was. I'm so grateful he had Family and Grace with him at the end of his earthly journey. Prayers from Cave Spring, Georgia. Marsha Bryant
Oh, Marge, my heart aches for you. Sending love your way. Lisa Krieg
You are in my thoughts and prayers, Marge. May God give you and your family comfort in this difficult time.
All the prayers and condolences and sympathies will never fill the hole that Don leaves in your life, Marge, but the love you both shared for each other should still keep your heart full. You two created a life that is immeasurable for all the good you put back in the world. I know you will keep doing that until you cannot anymore. It should go without saying that now Don has his own set of wings.
My thoughts go out to you and your family, Grace and the Staff at REGI. May you find peace and acceptance in the days ahead. Don was a true gentleman and hope he now has gentle winds.
Not evey star is counted...
Marge, our sincere condolences, Anna and Ivan Stanko.
Dear Marge, my deepest sympathy to you and your family, at the passing of Don. My thoughts and prayers are with you, during this difficult time. May GOD comfort you with His presence and His loving arms around you. Don will be truly missed.
Dear Marge, Doug and I send our condolences to you and your family during this difficult time. Soar high Sir, you’ll be missed.
Our condolences Marge, family, as well as the whole REGI family & friends. Thank You Don for your service to our country & continued freedom. As well, for your journey on this earth, of giving to all those deserving of love, protection & the fullest life possible... we Thank You.
Bless your humble soul & tender teachings of love to your beautiful wife, family and friends. It has been an honor to know you and your family sir— God Bless you all.
Mr Mike & Robbin
Tori & the grand poults send their love ... soar high on your new wings Don.
Dear Marge and Family, my thoughts and prayers are with you all!
Marge and loved ones of Don...so sorry to hear of your loss. My heart is aching for you. May the Good Lord give you strength and acceptance at this trying and sad time in your life. Many prayers for you and all those who knew and lived your hubby!
Dear Marge and Family ... Lenny and I wish you sweet memories of your beautiful Don. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
I’m so grateful I got to know Don in the last few years. I really enjoyed being around his gentle energy. Sending love to you, Marge.
It was always a treat to spend time with my Uncle Don and Aunt Marge. Don did not resist change over the years- rather, he embraced it. Despite his conservative roots, he appreciated diversity in people and ideas. We had many lively discussions about the state of the world that he loved so much, including our shared optimism about the Packers’ chances each fall. I will miss him.
A life well lived. He will be missed.
I am so sorry for your loss. Thoughts & prayers are with you all in this difficult time.
I'm honored to have met Don (and Marge) when they traveled here to Arizona, Although I felt like I'd known them both for many years. He was a gentle and loving man, with a huge heart and respect for not only wildlife, but the animals that called his heart home.
Marge, words are inadequate to express my deepest and most heart-felt sympathy. You both shared the love and compassion for wildlife and have done so much to help them heal and live long, healthy lives. Those who knew Don, know that he leaves a huge footprint that cannot be overlooked. The world was blessed with Don and all he contributed.
I have special memories of working with Dr Gibson in the Pathology Department at Wausau Hospital. He was a kind physician to work for. My condolences at this time to all the family and friends.
My condolences to you Marge, and the rest of your family and friends on the loss of your dear husband, father, brother, grandpa...May God help all of you through the difficult days ahead....I love the idea of an eagle release after Bob's service...May Bob soar in heaven with the eagles
He was a wonderful brother. I will miss him. It brought me great comfort to know he was able to leave this world surrounded by the people, birds and things he loved. Love to Marge who made his life an adventure - even at 86. Carol
Our sympathy Marge to you and your family. We have many good memories of Don
Bob and I are so sorry to hear of the passing of Don he made so many of us laugh with your posting with Tori Jane and then Grace and were sending prayers and Love to you Marge and family!
My deepest sympathy Marge for your loss. Don is flying with the eagles now.
My deepest condolences to Marge and the family. Such a gentle spirit and soul. May God embrace the family with his love and comfort through this very difficult time.
Oh gosh, this was such a shock. My deepest sympathy Marge for the loss, Don, your lifelong partner. Dearest Don - may you soar on eagles' wings.
What an amazing man and friend to wildlife and wild places. He will be missed by everyone who ever met him. Thinking of our REGI family🧡 in this time of greatest loss. Marge, we love you. Maeve and Shelli
So Sorry Marge, Please tell me if I can do anything for you.
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