Sally Jo Foster Gibson, 88, formerly of Harrison, died Sunday, May 16, 2021 at Woodlawn Nursing Home in Batesville, Arkansas.
A graveside service will be at 2:30 PM on Thursday, May 27, at Square Rock Cemetery in Waldron, Arkansas. Visitation will be from 1:00-2:00 PM at Waldron United Methodist Church prior to the graveside service. Pallbearers will be Adam Hubbell, Derek Hubbell, Mark Gibson, Ben Gibson, Michael Klepacki, Wade Watts and Cliff Watts. Honorary pallbearers include Christine Gibson, Allie Bagby, Landon Bagby, Kittie Klepacki, Montie Hennard, Jeff Watts and all of Sally Jo’s former students.
Memorials may be made to the Boone County Library, 221 W Stephenson Ave, Harrison, Arkansas 72601; the Boone County Heritage Museum, 124 S Cherry Street, Harrison, Arkansas, 72601; or the Square Rock Methodist Church and Cemetery Fund, c/o Susan Ray, PO Box 523, Waldron, Arkansas, 72958.
The daughter of Clarence Bryan and Sallie (Land) Foster-Watts-Leggett was born October 25, 1932, at Tallulah in Madison Parish, Louisiana. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Harrison.
Sally Jo was a public school choral music teacher with thirty-one years of experience in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Twenty-eight of those years were in the Harrison School District. She also served many years as the choir and music director at both St. Paul’s Methodist and the First United Methodist Churches in Harrison. She was a member of the Harrison Colony Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR); the Arkansas Retired Teachers Association; the Disorganized Bird Club (DOBC) and a life member of the Arkansas Audubon Society. Sally Jo loved bird watching and kept a bird count for Cornell University’s EBird Citizen Science program. Sally Jo also enjoyed researching her family genealogy. She loved her children and grandchildren and she had a fond attachment for those she affectionately called her “former students and forever friends.”
Through the years, Sally Jo received many awards and accolades for her accomplishments, contributions and community service. While there are too many to mention, one very special award she received was the Distinguished Educator Award from the Harrison Public Schools Foundation on September 24, 2019.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband, James O. Gibson, Jr., her parents and one brother, Reid Foster.
She is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, James O. Gibson, III and wife Dorothy of Harrison; daughters and sons-in-law, Janet and Frank Salman of Victorville, Calif., Carolyn and Don Hubbell of Batesville and Sally and Don Hennard of De Queen; a sister, Eloise (Foster) Latoof of New Orleans, Louisiana; a brother Tilford Watts of Tallulah, Louisiana; nine grandchildren; and eighteen great-grandchildren.
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