PITTSFIELD – Velma E. Gibbs, 81, died peacefully Aug. 23, 2013, in Pittsfield, after a long illness. Velma was born Jan. 30, 1932, in Harmony, the daughter of Frank and Katie (Robie) Alton.
Velma’s mother died when she was 10 and she helped raise her younger siblings. She worked during her school years in other family’s homes helping to raise their children and doing housework to earn her board so that she could go to school. Velma graduated from Harmony High School in the class of 1950. She has resided in St. Albans and Pittsfield for most of her life working at Baxter Canning Co., Hartland, Snow Flake Canning, Corinna, and also she was a stitcher at Northeast Shoe, Pittsfield, and Dexter Shoe, Dexter. Always a hard worker, Velma helped her father-in-law, Elmer Chambers, in the milk room on his farm.
Velma was a caregiver by heart. There was always room at her table to feed anyone that was hungry. She loved to cook and the grandchildren particularly loved her popovers. She encouraged her daughters to bring home their friends and they did. There was lots of popcorn and fudge made in her kitchen in St. Albans. She was very close to her family and their families came often to visit and share a meal whenever they could. She was the caregiver for her mother-in-law, Beatrice Parker, during the last years of her life.
When grandchildren and great-grandchildren arrived they were a great source of pride and joy. She especially loved Christmas. She loved to send cards and get gifts for everyone. Music was important to her. She would attend the Country Music Jams with her friend, Christine, and enjoyed herself immensely. Her daughter, Bonny, and husband, Rick, took her to see a Daniel O’Donnell concert and she talked about how much she enjoyed it. She loved getting everyone together for a party with lots of music and good food. She celebrated her 81st birthday last January with a party at Nettie’s in Hartland with many family and friends present. In later years she enjoyed sitting on her daughter, Becky’s, front porch in her rocking chair with Becky’s dog, “Philip Earl” and just enjoying life.
She is survived by four daughters and their husbands, Carol and Dale Gerald of Ripley, Rebecca and James Bagley of St. Albans, Olinda and Ricky Ordway of Corinna, and Bonny and Richard Dakin of Hinckley; and four brothers and sisters, Rowena Witham of Oakland, Carroll “Cad” Alton of Harmony, Marie Alton and her partner, Sue Torrence, of Pittsfield, and Eugene Alton and his wife, Judy, of Hartland. She is also survived by stepchildren, Patricia and her husband, Carl Trask, of Kenduskeg, Pam and her husband, Jim Goodine, of Clinton, Debra Beltz of Anson, and Colleen and her husband, Robert Langley, of Clinton; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Velma will also be remembered by special niece, Lori Witham and her partner, Wanda Hoffmann, of Dover; special nephews, Lawrence Alton and his partner, Diane Brown, of Ripley, and Timothy Alton of Pittsfield; her best friend, Christine Booth of Newport; and Fuzzie, her dog. She was predeceased by the fathers of her children, Carroll Chambers and Stanley Gibbs; also brothers, Edward Richardson, Frank “Fred” Alton Jr., Harry Alton, and George Alton; sister and twin of Eugene, Emogene Alton; stepson, Reginald Chambers; and stepson, Stephen Gibbs.
Graveside funeral services will be conducted noon Sept. 21, at West Ripley Cemetery, Ripley, with the Rev. Stephen Dean officiating. A gathering and a time of fellowship will be held at the Ripley Grange Hall following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Ripley United Methodist Church, care of Dorothy Hutchins, 258 Lane Road Ripley, ME 04930. Arrangements are entrusted to the care of the Brown Funeral Home and Cremation Service Center, 34 High St., Newport. To sign an online guest book and leave written tributes please visit: www.PhilipBrownFuneralHome.com.