STILLMAN VALLEY – Howard Russel Gipson, age 92, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 7, 2020 at Generations At Neighbor’s in Byron. He was born March 16, 1928 in White Rock Twp., the son of Walter Elsworth and Mary Ann (Reints) Gipson.
He grew up in Lindenwood. He served his country in the U.S. Navy. Howard married Luella M. McKnight on Jan. 16, 1949 at the home of her parents in Monroe Center. They were married for 50 years prior to her passing in 2001. Together they had two children Pennie and Russel. He was a barber in the Stillman Valley area owning Howie’s Barber Shop for over 20 years in down town Stillman Valley. After retiring from the shop, he became a property appraiser and Marion Township Tax Assessor. He also served as a volunteer for the Stillman Valley Fire Protection District and was a mail carrier.
In his earlier years he enjoyed traveling with his family throughout the U.S. and went on several fishing trips to Canada with his buddies. He loved to collect and restore many things including guns, pictures, and antique cars. He restored a Model A Ford which he entered in many car shows throughout the nation and won the prestigious Stynowski Trophy. In his later years he enjoyed spending time with his special lady friend Helen McNally. He loved his little dog and was always a dog lover. He was a member of the Stillman Valley American Legion, the Stillman Valley Lion’ s Club, the Moose Club, and the Red Brick Church.
He was predeceased by his parents Walter and Mary Gipson, wife Luella, son Russel, and brother Clyde.
He is survived by his special love Helen McNally of Stillman Valley, daughter Pennie Bartlett of Rockford, 4 grandchildren; Michelle (Eric) Pratt of Rockford, Chad (Angela) Wick of Byron, Jennifer (Jason) Finkboner of Stillman Valley, Heather (George) Talan of Stillman Valley, daughter-in-law Melanie Gipson of Stillman Valley, several great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses of the Serenity Hospice and Home for their loving care of Howard. A celebration of Howard’s life will be held at a later date. A memorial fund is established in his name for the Serenity Hospice and Home.