June 1, 1940 – February 5, 2020
Lillian (Bates) Gibson, born June 1, 1940, in Traverse City, MI, departed this life peacefully while a resident of the Dimondale Nursing Care Center on February, 5, 2020. She was the middle child of five born to Henry “Jess” and Helen Bates. Following graduation from high school in Traverse City, Lillian married Robert Lynn Gibson and they established their home in White Cloud, MI. During her working years, Lillian was employed as a secretary for the White Cloud Public Schools, then served the State of MI in that same role prior to her retirement.
In her retirement years, Lillian enjoyed needle art and researching her family genealogy through websites and many trips to libraries. She also enjoyed baking and the art of creating a great apple pie. In addition to Traverse City, White Cloud, and Dimondale, Lillian had also lived in the communities of Twin Lake, Hess Lake, Grand Haven, Grand Ledge, and Lansing.
Lillian is survived by daughter Shari (Marvin) Helmker of Holt, and son Scott (Danette) Gibson of White Cloud. She was the proud “Granny” of Rachel (Blake) Strope, Sarah (Lee) Helmker-Miemczewski, Abigail (Brian) Ginn, Joanna (Chase) Farley, Jesse (Kaylene) Gibson, and Daniel Gibson, and was totally proud of her six awesome great-granddaughters: Amelia, Zoe, Eleanor, Jillian, Scarlett, and Hazel. Lillian is also survived by siblings Caroline Wagoner, Luella Leys, Henry “Hank” Bates Jr., and Charlie (Liz) Bates, as well as many extended family members and friends. She was predeceased by her parents and former husband, as well as brothers-in-law Wade Wagoner, Lyle Leys, Brian Gibson, and Orrie Ebenstein, and sisters-in-law Diane Bates, Donita Thwaites, and Marilyn Gibson Goodrich.
It was Lillian’s desire to have no visitation or funeral service, but rather to be cremated and to have a small memorial service. Her family will honor this request in northern Michigan at a later date. Memorial contributions in Lillian’s name are welcome to McLaren Hospice of Lansing or the Capital Area Humane Society of Lansing.