April 13, 1933 - January 29, 2021
Janice Irene Benson Gibb passed away on January 29, 2021 at her home in Berthoud, Colorado surrounded by family and looking at the mountains she loved.
Janice was born on April 13, 1933 in Staten Island, NY. She graduated from Union High School, NJ and attended Augustana Lutheran College in Rock Island, IL.
After returning home from college during the War, she worked for Schering – Plough Pharmaceuticals.
In 1957, Janice married Wayne Alan Gibb. They raised their three children in Martinsville, NJ where she taught and coached for the Bridgewater-Raritan School District.
Janice loved hiking, gardening, travelling, photography, music, nature and the outdoors. Janice and her husband raised, showed, and sled raced Alaskan Malamutes. She and her family also participated in Revolutionary War re-enactments. She was a founding member of Christ Presbyterian Church in Martinsville, NJ.
Volunteer best describes Janice. Volunteerism came naturally to her. It was a part of her fabric and she continued to serve until near the end of her life. While living in NJ she was actively involved in the Somerset County 4-H program where she served as a leader of a twirling club, a member of the Association and chaperoned youth groups across the U.S. She was fondly known to kids as “Ma Gibb”.
After moving to Colorado she began volunteering in Rocky Mountain National Park where she donated over 5,000 hours during her 29 years of service there as part of a group called the Road Hogs. In this capacity, she helped build trails, cleaned ditches, cut trees, and repaired fences and bridges to name a few. Janice also worked as a certified road flagger in the park.
One of her greatest joys was volunteering for the Colorado Division of Wildlife where she monitored and collected data for a mating pair of Bald Eagles for 19 years. She was instrumental in preserving their habitat from development.
Janice also volunteered at the Berthoud Historic Society, rang bells every Christmas for the Salvation Army, served as a docent at the MacGregor Ranch, and was one of the “3 Musketeers” that annually dedicated time doing the Loveland Valentines. She was a leader of the Shining Mountains Hiking Club and lead hikes with members of First Presbyterian Church in Berthoud where she and her husband attended.
Janice’s commitment to volunteer service was highlighted in a documentary called “The Open Road” – which discussed the substantial contribution to society made by older volunteers. After being featured in the film, she was invited to Washington, D.C. to appear as a guest speaker before members of the U.S. Senate and House.
Janice, a proud Swede, has been described by others as person of great faith, a mentor, spiritual, kind, energetic, compassionate, inspirational, lived life with enthusiasm, generous, and approached everything with grace, humor, courage and resolve. Her family and friends will miss her dearly and her mark on this world will be forever felt and remembered by all she touched.
Janice was predeceased by her parents Einar and Irene Benson. She is survived by her beloved husband Wayne, and their three children; Wright Gibb and wife Patsy, Cheyenne, WY, Bradley Gibb and his wife Bobbi, Berthoud, CO and Brenda Gibb Moore and her husband Terrance, Doylestown, PA. Janice is also survived by her brother Richard Benson, Edison, NJ who she adored, several nieces and nephews, and her devoted rescue dog, Bell, who stayed by her side as she fought a courageous battle against pancreatic cancer.
At Janice’s request, there will be no memorial service. She will be cremated. A picnic table will be placed at Rocky Mountain National Park for the Road Hog Crew to rest and remember her. A plaque and newly planted tree will be placed at “Her Eagles” nest. Also, a memorial stone will be placed at the Berthoud Museum Rose Garden.
The family hopes that these memorials, once erected will allow everyone to pay tribute to Janice’s life.
Janice Benson Gibb, 1933-2021. It is said the most important part of life is the dash. Janice’s dash was filled with much joy, purpose and dedication for the simple things like her daily walks with her friends and neighbors, to her unending patriotism. Janice filled that dash with a meaningful life.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the Rocky Mountain Conservancy and/or Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.