James R. Gibbard, 87, of East Jordan, died Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011, at his home.
He was born July 5, 1924, in Detroit, the son of Russel and Dorothy (Speer) Gibbard.
country as a tank driver in the U.S. Army during World War II in the American, European, African and Middle Eastern theaters.
He earned a master's degree in physical education and worked as a track and cross-country coach at Michigan State University for many years.
On June 23, 1995, he married Betty Meeks in Petoskey. They made their home in Echo Township.
He enjoyed fishing, golfing, gardening, yard work and playing cards.
Surviving are his children, Patrick Gibbard of Houston, Texas, Michael "Mickey" (Mary) Gibbard of Chicago, Ill., and Kathleen Gibbard of Punta Gorda, Fla.; brothers, Kenneth (Lorna) Gibbard of West Bloomfield and Morris (Sylvia) Gibbard of Florida; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; stepchildren, Kathy Ann (Marty) Baker of Petoskey, Daniel Jones of Petoskey, and Charen (Jim) Mulcher of Alba. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Bonney Lora Gibbard.
A memorial service will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, at the Ellsworth Wesleyan Church with the Rev. James McWatters officiating.
A memorial service will also take place at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Michigan State University chapel.
For those wishing to make memorial contributions the family suggests Hospice of Northwest Michigan.
The family was served by Hastings Funeral Home in Ellsworth.