Major Ora J. "Joe" Gibson


Ora Jolynn Gibson, a good and faithful servant of God and God’s people, was born October 21, 1949, to the late Orell and Johnnie Lee Gibson in Winnfield, Louisiana.  The second (order of birth) of four children, Ora was reared in a loving, Christ-centered home and family. He accepted Christ early in life while attending Oak Ridge Baptist Church carrying the teachings and ways of his Savior throughout his life. He was preceded in death by his parents, and siblings, Ruby Gibson Hughes, and Roderick Gibson.

Affectionately known as Joe by his family, friends, colleagues, and students, he attended grade school at Union Hill Elementary. He was a 1967 graduate of Pinecrest High School where he served as Valedictorian of his class. Following his high school graduation, he attended his beloved Grambling State University, majoring in Sociology. In 1971, Joe and his forever love, Barbara Jerlene Calhoun, became one, united in blissful matrimony; to this wonderful union, three children were born.

Answering the call to serve, Joe enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1971. After serving as a Major for 21 years, he retired, entering into his next assignment in life: teaching. Serving others in any capacity was second nature to Joe. His biggest passion outside of his family was
ensuring at-risk students not only attended high schoo,l but successfully graduated. He spent 22 years empowering and encouraging the many students that crossed his path as the ROTC Instructor at LW Higgins High School. His dedication and concern for the lives of the youth earned him the much-deserved Jefferson Parish Teacher of the Year Award.

Though he served diligently for his Lord at Oak Ridge Baptist Church, serving his country and community, his greatest joy came while spending time with his family. His wife, children, and grandchildren were the apples of his eyes. In his spare time, Joe could be found playing golf or watching sports, eating his favorite meal of collard greens, cooking at Mirlitons, watching Sanford & Son, Undisputed, and his favorite team, the Kansas City Chiefs.

On April 28, 2021, this faithful servant of God, husband, father, grandfather, teacher, mentor, soldier, and friend answered his final and most important call to serve, hearing his Father say, “Well done,” and inviting him into the heavenly hosts. His presence and immense love will be missed, yet the many memories and his legacy will remain for his loved ones to treasure. Remaining to reflect on the life of their beloved family member are: his wife of 50 years, Barbara; three children, Jasquin Duprez Gibson (Deanna) of Goodyear, Arizona, Nedra La’Shea Gibson-Crittenden (Michael) of Boerne, Texas, and Jeremy Jacquez Gibson of Harvey, Louisiana;
only grandson, Ahlijah Jasquin Gibson; granddaughters, Ariah Inez Gibson, Kayla Rose Crittenden, Kadence Rain Crittenden, and Kaia Reese Crittenden; along with his host of extended family, his beloved fraternity brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc., friends, colleagues, former students, and church family.

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