David was born June 10, 1943, in Paris, Texas, the only child of Pheba Lee (Sullivan) and Royston V. Gibson. Raised in Grand Prairie, Texas, his childhood was filled with extended family, many friends and lots of love. You could find David participating in whatever sport was in season. He especially enjoyed being near the water – as a lifeguard at the local pool, sailing on the many nearby lakes, and working as crew on ships in the Gulf of Mexico during summer vacations. David loved adventuring and was proud to have earned Eagle Scout.
During high school he decided to pursue a career in medicine – believing it would be a rewarding career and offer a wide variety of different experiences every day. Following his 1968 graduation from the University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston), David served in Vietnam as a U.S. Army field combat surgeon.
Completing his military service, the sea continued calling when he became the ship’s physician on a chartered 120 ft. sailing yacht. He jumped ship to pursue his next adventure, living with and providing medical care for the small (60) community on Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific Ocean.
David moved to San Diego in 1972 to be near the ocean and to establish his family medicine practice. He was a trusted, just, and caring provider for patients, including multi-generational families, for 50+ years. At Grossmont Hospital he served as Chief of the Medical Staff and in various other leadership positions. He retired in 2017.
The move to San Diego had been particularly fortuitous, leading David to his beloved life partner, Susan Johnston. In 1975 they were married at First United Methodist Church of San Diego. Children soon followed: Bradley, Rebecca and Jill. Family life was most important. David coached his children’s sports, and taught them to ski, swim, sail, backpack, camp, climb mountains – and most importantly, to become responsible adults and parents themselves.
In 1990 David and Brad (age 12) sailed to Hawaii on the family’s 44’ sailboat, using only celestial navigation for the 21-day adventure. Travel was a primary and much-loved part of Gibson family life. International travels included all seven continents and visiting the seven wonders of the world.
David’s greatest joy was being a father of three and Papa of eight. He is survived by his spouse of 48 years, Susan; Bradley Gibson (Teryl Gibson) and children Mia, Jacob and Avery; Rebecca Gibson (Mark Motshagen) and children Scarlett and Ainsley; Dr. Jill Gibson (Dr. Samuel Harmsen) and children Jordan, Quinn and Alex.
David was a lover of life and a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He is deeply missed.