A Pilot’s Prayer

Patrick Phillips is the author of the Flyer’s Prayer. You’ll love all of his poems:

  1. Flyers Prayer

  2. Solo

  3. Remember When

  4. When Snowbirds Fly

  5. Rebirth

  6. I Dream of Eagles

A Pilot’s Prayer

for Don J. Gibbs (1929-2016)

Don Gibbs

 

 

 

When this life I’m in is done, generic

and at the gates I stand, medical

my hope is that I answer all

the questions on command.

I doubt I’ll be asked of my fame, search

or all the things I knew.

Instead, did I witness the rainbows

on rainy days I flew.

The hours logged, the status reached,

the ratings will not matter.

Did I notice the sun’s rays

on the lakes that scattered.

Or what about the droplets clear,

that spread across my screen?

And the twinkling eyes of student pilots keen?

How fast, how far, how much, how high? I won’t be asked these things.

But did I take the time to watch

the moonbeams wash my wings?

And did I see the patchwork fields

the mirrored lakes below?

Or the mountains high and velvet hills? Of these did I behold?

And when the goals are reached at last.

When all the flying’s done.

I’ll answer with no regret – Indeed! I had some fun.

So when these things are asked of me,

and I can reach no higher.

My prayer this day with hands extended, please welcome home this Flyer.

http://www.hollyfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Donald-Gibbs-4/
Don J. Gibbs, age 86, passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 28, 2016 at Lakeview Manor in Weyauwega, WI. He was born on October 17, 1929 in Stevens Point, WI; son of Walter and Stella (Hopkins) Gibbs. Don graduated from Waupaca High School in the class of 1947. He joined the U.S. Navy, aviation branch, in January 1948 and retired with over 20 years of service in November 1970. Don married Marianne E. Verdon on September 19, 1953 in Waupaca and together they shared 61 years of marriage before her passing on July 6, 2015. After retiring from the military, he had other jobs that included Chain O’Lakes Patrol Officer, ITT Hamilton Corporation Representative, school bus driver, and lastly he retired as a Maintenance Mechanic 3 from the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King in October 1992. Don’s hobbies and interests included fishing, boating, camping, swimming, cars, and flying his ultralight aircraft. Most of all, he loved being with and spending time with his wife of 61 years, Marianne, his 5 sons, 2 daughters, 13 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. Don will be deeply missed by all of his loving family and many friends.
Don is survived by his children: Randy (Lynette) Gibbs of Waupaca, WI, Jeff Gibbs of Weyauwega, WI, Brion (Pam) Gibbs of Waupaca, WI, Dennis Gibbs of Waupaca, WI, Sue Davidson of Almond, WI, Michelle Roggenbauer of Waupaca, WI, and Bruce (Laura) Gibbs of Waupaca, WI; 13 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; and a sister: Beverly (Carl) Hansen of Waupaca, WI. Also survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Stella Gibbs; his loving wife, Marianne Gibbs; and a sister, Mildred Karch.

for David Andrew Niven 1912 – 2009


When this life I’m in is done,

and at the gates I stand,

my hope is that I answer all

the questions on command.

I doubt I’ll be asked of my fame,

or all the things I knew.

Instead, did I witness the rainbows

on rainy days I flew.

The hours logged, the status reached,

the ratings will not matter.

Did I notice the sun’s rays

on the lakes that scattered.

Or what about the droplets clear,

that spread across my screen?

And the twinkling eyes of student pilots keen?

How fast, how far, how much, how high? I won’t be asked these things.

But did I take the time to watch

the moonbeams wash my wings?

And did I see the patchwork fields

the mirrored lakes below?

Or the mountains high and velvet hills? Of these did I behold?

And when the goals are reached at last.

When all the flying’s done.

I’ll answer with no regret – Indeed! I had some fun.

So when these things are asked of me,

and I can reach no higher.

My prayer this day with hands extended, please welcome home this Flyer.

David Andrew Niven, 97, Manawa, found peace at home in the care of his family, Saturday, May 23, 2009.

He was born February 14, 1912, in Crawford, Indiana, the third of six children to William and Mary (Ovans) Niven. He graduated in 1928, from Goodman High School at the age of 16. He worked on the family farm until his first job at the Goodwin Mill as a sawyer. He was proud of the fact that during the Depression, he was able to stand in line for two weeks and get a job at General Motors Truck and Coach at Pontiac, Michigan.

David learned to fly in 1937 and bought his first airplane the same year. He taught civilian pilot training in 1937, until the start of WWII. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942, as Lt. Commander JG. During his time in the Service, he trained pilots in the last stage of flight school, flew transcontinental, was assigned as a pilot for the admirals, and finished his last 7 years in the Navy as a test pilot.

David married Alice Jeanne Bryant in December of 1945. He was requested by Admiral Byrd to fly a mission to Antarctica but declined the invitation, staying home for the birth of his first daughter. He retired from the Navy in 1947 and returned to work at General Motors until 1952 at which time he moved to Manawa.

He purchased the Manawa Gamble Store and ran it until 1976 when he retired. During his time in Manawa, he was a member of the Manawa City Council for four years, member of the Manawa Masonic Lodge #82 F&AM, Manawa Industries, Manawa Chamber of Commerce, American Legion and Central County Flyers. He continued his passion for flying until the age of 95 at which time he sold his plane.

Burial took place 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 31, 2009, at the Dunbar Cemetery with graveside Military Honors.

Comments are closed.