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Official Obituary of


September 2, 1951 ~ March 29, 2024 (age 72) 72 Years Old
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JOHN F. GIBBONS I, age 72. Beloved companion of Rose Malensky. Loving father of Harold Gibbons (fiance Jenny) and John Gibbons, Jr (Stacie). Cherished grandfather of McKenzie and Haylie Gibbons, Abigail and Alexandria Clark and great grandfather of Karmem. Dear brother of Bill Gibbons, Linda Sharpe, Agnes Lock, Ed Gibbons and the late Gale Gibbons and Ann Jan. Uncle and friend of many. 

John Francis Gibbons was born September 2, 1951. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Grew up with 2 brothers and 4 sisters. John got into a lot of trouble on the streets of Cleveland. He would only tell his boys that he was a bad kid, not any of the juicy stories. When his brother Eddie was asked about it, he wouldn’t tell any good stories about him being a bad kid either. He would just confirm that yes, he was a bad kid. He attended West Tech High School. He dropped out of highschool and joined the Marines in 1969. He then married Rita in his dress blues at St. Augustine’s. He went on to earn his GED from Kumasaki High in Okinawa, Japan. He served in the Marines for six years. During that time, John and his first wife had two boys, the oldest, Harold while living in Washington state and then John while living back in Ohio.

 John worked many jobs throughout his life. including being a maintenance man at apartment buildings. He did this at 4 associated estates at one time. He then worked a building on east 105th and Euclid for Don Cantlin. After that he worked for Brookins Trailer Parks. Next, he opened a car lot, West Point Auto Sales, with his brother Eddie and sold used cars. His final job was working for NAPA for 20 years as a parts driver. He retired at age 62 and still worked a couple of days a week until he hit 70. 

Through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, John was a regular at Zepher Bar. A regular meaning, 7 evenings a week, 52 weeks a year. During this time he hung out with his friends Gene Goose Gosnell & Cathy Sweatkis, Dennis Boggess, Pat Westly, Pete Turner, Wally Jan, Jeff Turpek, Scott Wrecker, Joe Basco, and let’s not forget the barmaid, Carol. During his Bar years, he was an avid dart thrower and bowler. He even scored a 300 on the bowling machine at the bar! John loved playing softball, too. Even though he occasionally played second base, his main gig on the team was the manager. He really enjoyed being the team manager, arguing with the umpires, kicking dirt on home plate as well as the umpires, and even enjoyed being thrown out of the game at times for these arguments. 

Besides really being proud of having served in the Marine Corp as evident by his many Marine Hats, John really loved camping and golfing with his dad, brother, and buddies. He golfed until they all got “too old” around 2005. 

John met his loving companion, Rose, at the turn of the century. Rose and John met through her neighbor, Gil at his bar where Gil introduced them. John was trying to be a gentleman and pay for her when they went out, but Rose would not let him. He was not happy about that. 

When they first met Rose lived in her house and John had an apartment. She would go to his apartment and they would stretch out on the living room floor and watch movies. They also used to meet at Big Boy Restaurant in Brookpark. They would meet there in different cars, had their meal, and then they would leave. Rose said that the people who saw them probably thought they were having an affair because they wouldn’t come together and then they would leave and go their separate ways.

After they were dating for a while, John wanted to help her around the house by mowing the lawn and helping with other household chores. Rose wasn’t having it because she was an independent woman. Despite her independence and not letting John pay for her nor help out like he wanted to around the house, John and Rose had many wonderful times together. John liked going to concerts with Rose. They would often drive to Pennsylvania to visit her parent’s gravesites and have dinner with her cousin at the ever popular Ponderosa. They did a lot of traveling. John and Rose went to places like Vegas and Gettysburg. They even did a tour of Ohio, which meant that they went on a little train ride that went to a lot of different places around Ohio, including Kings Island. There was a contest once at the bar, they had a dance contest and he and Rose wore big sombreros. It was awesome. They had some real fun times. 

John would attend all of his granddaughter’s school, dance, and sporting events. He loved bowling, playing softball, and hanging out at the bar with his sons and his dad. He enjoyed visiting with family and friends. He was always grateful for anyone who came to see him, and always, always thanked them for stopping by. 

When John came home from the VA in December, he made sure to get all of his affairs in order so that no one would have any questions when he passed. He was still looking out for his family even as best he could even when he was weak in body. The duties he shared and took turns with Rose for, such as planning meals, fell on Rose as he could no longer take his turn. He wanted to make sure everything else was in order as to not leave any burdens for Rose or his family. John knew the end was near in the past month. He requested to be transported to a hospice care facility. Once again, thinking of taking the burden off of his Rose and his family he passed away a few minutes after he arrived at the hospice facility. Family and friends were devastated that they could not be there with him. But John passed away peacefully. He will be missed for all of the love and good times he shared with all of his family and friends. 

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday April 3, 2024 at 7:00 PM in the funeral home. The family will receive friends Wednesday from 4 - 7 PM at THE A. RIPEPI AND SONS FUNERAL HOME, 18149 BAGLEY ROAD, MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, OHIO 44130 (WEST of I-71) 

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April 3, 2024

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
18149 Bagley Road
Middleburg Heights, OH 44130

Funeral Service
April 3, 2024

7:00 PM
18149 Bagley Road
Middleburg Heights, OH 44130


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