C. Gordon Gibson, 96, of Rochester Hills, formerly of Warren, died at home on July 21, 2014. He was born on Sept. 27, 1917 in Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada, the eldest son of Bell (Peers) and Charles Leigh Gibson. The family moved to Detroit in 1926. Gordon attended Cass Tech High School, leaving early to help support the family. An avid athlete, he played many sports through his life, but hockey was his passion. In 1939 he left tryouts for the Toronto Maple Leafs to enlist in the Canadian Air Force. Because he had already begun the process of becoming an American citizen, he then enlisted in the U.S. Army where he was first a medic and then achieved his dream of becoming a fighter pilot. He flew a P-40 Warhawk on 100 missions with the 79th Fighter Group, 86th Squadron, in North Africa and Italy. He was shot down three times, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with five oakleaf clusters. After the war, he was an Air Force reservist and retired with the rank of captain.
He attended Lawrence Tech University and spent most of his career at the General Motors Technical Center as a designer for the power-development division of the engineering staff.
He married Elaine Foley in 1947 and they raised three children in Warren. He was a Boy Scout leader for many years and was a lifelong outdoorsman, taking his family on long camping trips around the country. He was a Mason and a member of the Moslem Temple of the Shrine; he volunteered at the Shrine Circus, and was a member of the Highlanders pipe band, the Chanters singing group, and the Jesters.
He was preceded in death by his wife Elaine in 2010, his son Thomas in 2000, and his siblings Douglas, Irene, Roy and Robert. He is survived by his son Bruce, of Warren, his daughter Elise, of Massachusetts, and granddaughters Eleanor and Emma.
Inurnment will be at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan, on August 22, 2014 at 1:15 p.m.