O. Lee Gibson, 97, of Denton, TX and Estes Park, CO, died January 26, 2013 at Prospect Park Living Center in Estes Park, Colorado, after a short hospitalization for end-stage Parkinson’s disease.
He was for 67 years the husband of Ruth Brigham Gibson, who preceded him in death in 2005.
Born in Louisville, KY, he was the second of six children of Dr. & Mrs. O.L. Gibson. His surviving brother, Hugh Dana Gibson, is an artist and violist living in Taos, NM.
Dr. Gibson was Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of North Texas where he taught for 36 years. His undergraduate degree was from Oklahoma A & M College, his graduate work at the Eastman School of Music, and his Ph. D. in Musicology from UNT in 1960 with his dissertation, The Woodwind Serenades of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Before moving to Texas he was Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands at the University of Idaho. An avid Amateur Radio Operator (W5AJF), Gibson also taught at the US Navy Radio School while in Moscow, Idaho, and later, toward the end of WW II, at RCA in New York City.
A renowned clarinetist, pedagogue, and authority on design of the clarinet, Lee Gibson trained many of today’s outstanding players and teachers.He was the first editor of The Clarinet, journal of the International Clarinet Society, and later served as the Society’s president. Gibson joined the Acoustical Society of America and, combining his research on clarinet tone and pitch with his performing artistry, was sought after as a consultant on clarinet and clarinet reed design and construction. He invented the Vandoren V12 clarinet reed in 1988 during a week-long visit to the company’s factory on France’s Cote d’Azur. The V12 is still popular among clarinetists today. His book, Clarinet Acoustics, was published by Indiana University Press in 1998. It is available today from Amazon or ebay.
He leaves his three children, Marion Brigham Gibson of Louisville, Kentucky, David Lee Gibson of Monroe, Louisiana, Laurence Arey Gibson of El Paso, Texas, along with daughter-in-law Marilynn Mocek Gibson, seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
A private service will be held at the family’s summer home near Longs Peak, Colorado during the summer of 2013.
Instead of flowers, donations may be made to the O.Lee Gibson Clarinet Scholarship, College of Music, University of North Texas, P.O. Box 311250, Denton, Texas, 76203 or the Estes Park Senior Center, 220 4th St. Estes Park, CO, 80517.