SOUTH PARIS — Edwin Stearns Gibson, 93, passed away peacefully with family by his side at his home on Friday, Aug. 11, after a brief illness.

He was born on May 6, 1924, in Visalia, Calif., to Leslie and Annette S. Gibson of Norway and West Paris, respectively. Ed was 8 years old when his family was forced to return to Maine during the Great Depression. Of this time he said, “We could at least live on the farm and grow the food we needed.”

He went to the one-room schoolhouse at Hungry Hollow and graduated from Paris High School. He credits his grandfather, Will Stearns, as a great influence on his life, who taught him the value of hard work, sticking to the job at hand, and that many hands make light work.

Ed attended Colby College from 1941 to 1943 until he joined the U.S. Army during WWII. He continued his education while in the service and received a degree in dentistry from Tufts School of Dental Medicine.

He had established his dental practice in South Paris when the Korean Conflict broke out and he was recalled to military service. He served as a dentist in the Air Force until 1953.

On June 17, 1950, he married Jane Young of West Minot and Boston. After traveling during the war years to Illinois, Alaska, and California, the couple returned to Maine where they raised five children. Ed practiced general dentistry before returning to Boston University, where he obtained a degree in orthodontics in 1963. He practiced orthodontics in South Paris and later in Lewiston until his retirement in 1992.


Throughout his life Ed enjoyed music, art and auction-hunting. After his retirement, he became an accomplished basket-maker. Receiving one of his baskets was a prized gift. He loved the outdoors and was a conservationist who skied and snowshoed, faithfully walked his dogs, and managed his woodlots. Family albums are stuffed with photos of gatherings on Norway Lake and North Pond. The annual outing to Reid State Park was a summer highlight.

Ed loved growing vegetables and picking summer berries and was an adventurous cook. In his late 70s, he became a master gardener and enjoyed volunteering at the Harvest for Hunger Garden in South Paris and at the McLaughlin Garden.

He was a lifelong Mason who joined the West Paris Granite Lodge #182 in 1949. He was a deacon emeritus and trustee of the Second Congregational Church UCC in Norway where he was a member for 63 years.

Ed is survived by his wife of 67 years, Jane Y.; his brother, William Gibson and his wife, Jane P. of West Paris; and his sister, Joan Wheeler and her husband, Glenn of McKinney, Texas; five children, daughter, Sarah Otterson of South Paris, son, James Gibson and his wife, Sally of Fryeburg, daughter, Ellen Gibson of West Paris, and the father of her children, Robert Long of Fortuna, Calif., son, William Gibson of Twain Harte, Calif., and daughter, Jennifer Gibson and her husband, Andreas Smith of Tacoma Park, Md.; nine grandchildren, Karl Otterson and his wife, Tammy MacTaggart, Joanna Brown and her husband, Peter, Leslie Young and her husband, Dan, David Gibson and his wife, Willow, Daniel Gibson and his wife, Rychel, Timothy Long, Joseph Long, Rebecca Long, and Aurelia Smith; four great-grandchildren, Sam Otterson, Mark Brown, Ian Brown, and Will Brown.

He was predeceased by his brother, Warren Gibson, and his son-in-law, Mark Otterson.

He retained a special place in his heart for his AFS daughter, Marie Howard of Napier, New Zealand and her family.

The family gives sincerest thanks to the staff of Beacon Hospice for their care of Edwin and support to the family during this time of loss.

Edwin S. Gibson

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