James (Jim) Lee Gibbons

James (Jim) Lee Gibbons, 86, entered his eternal home to be with the Lord on December 25, 2016. He was born in Grand Island, Nebraska on August 19, 1930 and spent his childhood living in various cities in Tennessee.  He graduated from Clarksville High School in 1948 and attended Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee where he met Nancy Carolyn Dowlen in 1950.  When his family moved to Florida, Jim transferred to the University of Florida and graduated in 1952 with a B.S. in Business Administration.  After graduation, rather than being drafted by the Army he joined the Navy.  He went to boot camp in San Diego, California because he did not weigh enough to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS).  After boot camp he was assigned to Naval Station Bremerton near Seattle, Washington.  His next stop was OCS in Rhode Island and upon completion he married Nancy on July 15, 1953.  Immediately afterwards, they drove to New York where he went to Navy Supply Corps School in Bayone, New Jersey for six months.  He was assigned to Naval Air Station Green Cove Springs in Florida where he finished his active duty commitment and retired from Naval Reserve as Lieutenant Commander in 1972.  He joined AT&T on August 1, 1956 as an accountant in Knoxville, Tennessee.  They moved to Shreveport, Louisiana in 1962 before being transferred to Jackson, Mississippi in 1965.  They lived there until he retired after 32 years of service from South Central Bell as Disbursements Accounting Manager in March 1989.  In December 1993, he and Nancy moved to Houston to live closer to Susan and her family.

He dearly loved his family and enjoyed watching his grandchildren grow up. He went to all of their many activities throughout the years: choir and band concerts, dance recitals, soccer and baseball games, and tennis matches.  He was thrilled to become a great-grandfather to twin great-grandsons last year.

He was a life-long member of the Methodist Church. He was a faithful servant serving on committees, singing in the choir, and playing trumpet in the orchestra.

His hobbies included working in the yard, playing trumpet, singing, jogging and playing tennis. He was able to continue singing but had to give up his other hobbies a few years ago.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Nancy Dowlen Gibbons; daughter and husband, Susan and Dave Voss; granddaughter and husband, Jennifer and Bradford Wilson; grandson, Robert Voss; and great-grandsons, Cole and Miles, all of Houston, Texas; sister, Colleen Gibbons Myrick of Roswell, Georgia; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A service to celebrate his life was held on January 5, 2017 at Clear Lake United Methodist Church.  Memorials can be sent to Clear Lake United Methodist Church Building Fund, 16335 El Camino Real, Houston, TX 77062.


  1. We are so very sorry to hear of Uncle Jimmy’s passing. Nancy is my father’s youngest sister and the very last of the Dowlens on my father’s side of the family. We were pleased to see uncle Jimmy and aunt Nancy many times over the years when they visited grandmother Dowlen in Clarksville. Jimmy was a wonderful, outgoing person, and always a pleasure to be with. Distance has prevented our seeing him in recent years, but we always tried to keep in touch, and Jimmy and Nancy kept us up to date on family events thru their many interesting Christmas letters. I hope to visit aunt Nancy and cousin Susan in March, when I visit my sister Carole in Lockhart, TX. I am very sorry that I was unable to attend uncle Jimmy’s funeral.
    Much love,
    Kathryn Dowlen Gaines
    Greensboro, NC

    Kathryn Dowlen Gaines
  2. Please accept my sincere and deep condolences on the passing of Jim. Martha and I always had a loving fondness for him. As you may know, Martha died in Feb of 2016.

    God bless you and give you peace.

    Ricardo de la Fuente

    Ricardo de la Fuente

Leave Your Condolences

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. Basic HTML code is allowed.