Thomas Coleman Gibson, age 92, formerly of Wilmington, DE and Kennett Square, PA, passed away peacefully on January 15, 2017, while visiting his family in Cape May, NJ. Tom was a devoted husband and father, engineer and marketing executive, WWII pilot, writer and syndicated columnist. He was born in Nashville, Tennessee on February 12, 1924 to the late Thomas Cecil and Sarah Elberta (Sawyer) Gibson. Raised in a family that worshipped God faithfully he often spoke of his increasing awe of the Creator and spent his last years immersed in study of the Holy Bible seeking an understanding of ultimate reality.
A veteran of the United States Army Air Forces, Tom honorably served our country during World War II. Assigned to the 95th Bomb Group and stationed in England for 5 months, he flew a B-17 Flying Fortress as 1st pilot on 18 bombing missions over Germany. He was training to fly the B-29 Superfortress when the war ended and flew supplies into Germany after the peace agreement was signed. He was awarded the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters and the ETO Ribbon with 2 bronze battle stars.
After the war in 1946 he married Dorisse Gentry of Old Hickory, TN. and was later blessed with four children.
Tom left Vanderbilt University Engineering School in 1943 to serve in the US military and returned to graduate in 1948. He had a lifelong passion for music and photography. He played the alto saxophone, and ushered at the original WSM Grand Ole Opry in Nashville as well as working as a professional photographer while in school.
Following graduation from Vanderbilt, Tom spent five years in engineering with Phillips Petroleum in Texas and TN. In 1953 he transferred to DuPont in sales and market development covering territories in Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, California, Oregon and Washington. He moved into marketing management in 1956 with an assignment in Chicago and transferred back to Wilmington, DE in 1958.
His 35-year career at DuPont originally focused on the development of three major new products. Mylar polyester film, Tedlar PVC film and the PET plastic bottle for carbonated soft drinks. Later he worked in Latin America and Asia-Pacific developing marketing personnel and finally consulted with leadership groups in and outside DuPont on organizational effectiveness and quality improvement.
After retirement Tom traveled, tutored underprivileged students and wrote about the negative consequences of unbridled free-trade. His articles were published in The News Journal in Delaware and The Tennessean and later syndicated.
Tom was preceded in death by his wife Dorisse of over 65 years and his son Paul Bryson. He is survived by his sister Jean Piland of Nashville, TN, two daughters Deborah Wolff and Tracey Reinbold of Vero Beach Florida, and his son Thomas Christian of Philadelphia, PA and Cape May, NJ.
Friends and family are invited to a celebration of Tom’s life on February 11 at 1:30 pm, DuPont Country Club, Wedgwood Room, 1001 Rockland Rd, Wilmington, DE 19803. The funeral and interment will be held in Nashville, TN.
To send messages of condolence visit