A Loving Farewell to The Honorable Judge “Jay” Gibson
The Honorable Judge Joseph (“Jay”) V. Gibson, III, husband, father, and grandfather passed away Friday, March 24, 2023, at Odessa Medical Center Hospital surrounded by loved ones.
Jay was born June 9, 1950, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to parents Dr. Joseph V. Gibson, II and Harriet Wood Gibson of Kermit, Texas, both who preceded him in death. Jay grew up in Kermit, Texas and graduated from Kermit High School in 1968 after attending several years at St. Stephens Episcopal School in Austin, Texas. He earned a BA degree in Psychology at the University of Texas in Austin in 1972 followed by a Law degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1975.
After a long engagement, Jay married the love of his life, Rhonda K. Gibson, in 1999. They were kindred spirits from the start, especially in their love for animals, art, their grandchildren, politics, and everyday life in Odessa. Jay had two children with his first wife, Susan Gibson Mueller: son Joseph (“Joe”) Vincent Gibson, IV of Houston, and daughter, Jennifer Gibson Hebert of Salinas, CA.
Jay was a lifelong Democrat and very politically active over the years. In 1978 (at the ripe age of 28), Jay was elected to the Texas House of Representatives for the 73rd District from Odessa, Texas. He served in the 66th, 67th, and 68th Legislatures (3 terms) as State Representative until 1985. During his time in the House of Representatives, Jay served on the Energy Resources, Appropriations, Elections (Chair of Budget & Oversight), Elections Subcommittee on Budget & Oversight (Chair), Higher Education (Chair Budget & Oversight) Committees, among others. He was instrumental in securing funding for the Texas Tech Teaching hospital and significant funding for multiple institutions of higher education. He was named “Best” in Texas Monthly’s “Best and Worst Legislators” in 1983.
In 1992, Jay was appointed to serve as District Court Judge in the 70th District by then Governor Ann Richards. He served as Judge of the 70th District Court until the end of 2006, at which time he took Senior Judge status and continued to hear cases all over West Texas. In addition to serving as a Judge, Jay also worked as a mediator.
Jay enjoyed his political activities including serving as the Democratic Party Chairman for Ector County. He also served as president of The Clover House Board of Directors of Odessa for several years. Other than politics, Jay’s hobbies included building computers, continuing education, and telling cringeworthy “dad” jokes. He will be long remembered for his sharp sense of humor and kind manner with people of all walks of life.
Jay was the true definition of loving. He loved people and loved caring for people and will continue to be an inspiration for all of us. “Beloved, let us love one another.” 1 John 4:7
Jay is survived by his wife, Rhonda K. Gibson of Odessa; son Joseph (“Joe”) Vincent Gibson, IV of Houston; daughter Jennifer Gibson Hebert and her husband, Joseph Michael Hebert of Salinas, California; mother of his children Susan Gibson Mueller; grandchildren Madison Gibson Pogue and husband Connor Pogue, Joseph (“Joey”) Vincent Gibson V, and Olivia Grace Gibson, all of Houston; his brother David H. Gibson and wife Fran Gibson of Austin; cousins Jane Boles and husband Burnace Boles of Still Pond, Maryland, and Dr. Melissa McIntire Sherrod and husband Michael Sherrod of Fort Worth, along with nieces and nephews Dr. Madeline Scofield and husband Dr. David Scofield, Jeffrey Boles, Colin Sherrod and wife Heather Sherrod, and Nicolas Sherrod.
Family, friends and colleagues are invited to gather for a Celebration of Life at 4:00 pm Saturday, April 1, 2023, at St. John’s Episcopal Church (401 N. County Rd W, Odessa, TX), immediately followed by a reception at The Copper Rose (415 N. Grant Ave, Odessa, Texas).
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Clover House, an Adult Residential and Outpatient/Aftercare Facility (cloverhouseinc.com), or the charity of your choice.
The family would like to express their profound gratitude to the doctors and nurses at Odessa Medical Center Hospital for their care and compassion while taking care of Jay during his short illness.
For additional information, please visit https://www.sunsetodessa.com/obituary/Joseph-GibsonIII