Larry Ralph Gibson
Larry Ralph Gibson, age 88, husband of Bertie Harkins Gibson, passed away on September 22, 2023 in Easley, South Carolina surrounded by his family. Born in Anderson County on January 28, 1935 to the late Inez Bolding Gibson Martin and the late Charlie William Gibson. Larry attended Easley High School and was eager to get into the working world and received his diploma later.
Larry was a hard-working man who loved his family, who loved the outdoors and who never met a stranger. As a young entrepreneur, Larry had a long career in the building business as a contractor and developer. At 20 years of age, he was the owner of Larry Gibson Masonry Contractor and later founded and became President of Artistic Builders, Inc. He had a vision and wanted to share the dream of helping others to experience home ownership through building and developing properties in four counties.
Larry was an active member of the Greenville Home Builders Association of South Carolina for many years. He was voted Builder of the Year by his peers in 1967 and 1968 and served as Chairman of the Parade of Homes in 1968 and 1969. In 1969, Larry also served as Director of the National Home Builders Association and as President of the Home Builders Association of Greenville in 1970.
Larry received national recognition when he received the R. G. Hughes Honor Award for Excellence in Single Family Housing from the National Association of Home Builders and the Farmers Home Administration for excellence of single-family housing in 1971. This award included a visit to Easley, South Carolina by Julie Nixon Eisenhower, the daughter of Richard M. Nixon, who was the sitting U.S. President. Mrs. Eisenhower’s visit included a tour of the development and homes in recognition of this award.
In 1973, Larry was Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders Rural Housing Development Committee. In 1978, Larry became state President of the South Carolina Home Builders Association and he was honored to become a Life Spike of the National Association of Home Builders. In 1981, Larry was selected as a Trustee at North Greenville College, now North Greenville University. Larry was honored again in 2005 with his induction into the South Carolina Housing Hall of Fame, which honors individuals who have made lasting contribution to the housing industry through their work in building and development. Larry was responsible for the building of thousands of homes in the upstate.
Larry and Bertie were faithful members of Rock Springs Baptist Church where he remained active until his health prevented. Larry served as an usher and greeter and assisted in building the Sports Center building at Rock Springs Baptist Church. Larry was also an ordained deacon and served as Chairman of the Deacons at Smith Grove Baptist Church. Larry became a member of the Properties Committee of the Piedmont Baptist Association in 2003.
Larry enjoyed working hard and long hours and always enjoyed a challenge. His hands and mind were never idle for he always had a project in progress. Larry was always inventive by nature, whether he was designing innovative houses and subdivision concepts or numerous inventions of which he successfully designed, developed, manufactured and successfully patented. He also enjoyed the outdoors and his hobbies were deer and turkey hunting and tennis. In 1973, on his very first deer hunt, Larry dropped a 16 point 184 lb. buck and he was hooked from that day on.
Larry is survived by his wife of 68 years, Bertie Mae Harkins Gibson; his daughters, Sharon “Sha” Ann Gibson-Martin (Robert “Bob”) of River Falls and Sherry Lynne Gibson DiPietro (Mario) of Easley; his three grandchildren, Nicholas “Nick” Gibson DiPietro (Katherine) of Roswell, GA, Lucas “Luke” Alexander DiPietro (Selina) of Greenville, SC and Helen Lorene Martin Grey (Zachary) of Greenwood, SC; his three great-grandchildren, Luca Alexander DiPietro, Olivia Madeleine DiPietro, and Capri Rose DiPietro, a stepsister Alice M. Gambrell along with many nieces and nephews. Larry was the last surviving member of his immediate family and in addition to his parents, he was predeceased by two brothers, Bruce Gibson and Charles Gibson, and a sister, Ruby Gibson Hayes.
Larry’s greatest joy was his three grandchildren and most recently his three great-grandchildren whom he loved and they were very special to him. He enjoyed sharing stories about their accomplishments and looked forward to a vacation each summer with just grandparents and grandchildren.
A time expressly set for visitation with the family to gather with friends will take place on Monday, September 25th, 2023 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at Robinson Funeral Home Downtown, 305 West Main Street, Easley, SC 29640.
Funeral Services will be at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, September 26th in the Chapel of Robinson Funeral Home, Downtown Easley. A private burial will follow this service.
Flowers are accepted or memorial donations may be made to Open Arms Hospice at 1836 W. Georgia Road, Simpsonville, SC 29680 or Rock Springs Baptist Church Building Fund, 201 Rock Springs Rd. Easley, SC, 29642.
Visit RobinsonFuneralHomes.com or Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory-Downtown, Easley.