Laura Belle Gibson, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend to many, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, July 8, 2017, at the age of 82. Born to Luther and Lelia (Neal) McGaugh in Waldron, Ark., on Jan. 30, 1935, she lived her life in service to God, family and others. Revered by her family and everyone who knew her, she will be greatly missed.
Laura was very active at Waldron High School where she was a member of the girl’s basketball team and graduated in 1953. She attended the University of Arkansas for one year where she met Doug Gibson and they married on Oct. 17, 1954. She gave birth to four children in seven years and remained married for 35 years. Laura married her neighbor Leonard Yazzie on Sept. 29, 2001. Leonard was a wonderful husband and a selfless caregiver as her Parkinson’s disease progressed.
Rather than have hobbies for herself, Laura used her free time helping others. Her hobby was people; visiting the sick, comforting the bereaved and taking delicious homemade food to people who were ill or grieving. Some of Laura’s favorite things were music, children and flowers. A beautiful soprano soloist, she was a song leader at her church for over 30 years. She retired from Stepping Stone School in Alma after 27 years as a teacher’s aide, where her love of children was known by the pupils and all who worked with her. Laura worked tirelessly as a volunteer at Van Buren First Church of the Nazarene, where she was a member for over 60 years and was happy to do any job for her church family. One of her duties for over 25 years was serving as the Sunday School nursery teacher. In her later years as she spent more time at home, Laura loved being in the yard, just enjoying Leonard’s immaculate yard, beautiful roses and flower garden. Often she cut bouquets of roses to give people, another testimony of her generous spirit.
Her loving memories will be cherished by husband, Leonard Yazzie of the home; son, David and Connie Gibson of Fort Smith; son, Jimmy and Carla Gibson of Farmington; daughter, Eva and Rick Roberson of Van Buren, and daughter, Melissa Smith. Grandchildren are Summer Mulloy, James Gibson, Mindy Mahan, Mitchell Gibson, Nicholas Gibson, Vanessa Roberson, Luke Roberson and Levi Smith and there are 12 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by brothers, Neal and Dorothy McGaugh and Don and Mary McGaugh, all of Louisiana.
Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Ocker Memorial Chapel Van Buren with burial at Gracelawn Cemetery under the direction of Ocker Funeral in Van Buren.
Pallbearers will be James Gibson, Mitchell Gibson, Bob Jones, Art Folsom, Stephen Travis and Darrell Palmer.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Laura’s name to Van Buren First Church of the Nazarene, P.O. Box 641, Van Buren, AR 72956.
Online tributes: www.ockerfuneralhome.com.