Cover photo for Twilla Jean Gibbons's Obituary
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1952 Twilla 2023

Twilla Jean Gibbons

August 24, 1952 — April 26, 2023

Dowling, Michigan

Twilla Jean Gibbons passed away peacefully on April 26, 2023 at her home.  Twilla grew up in Nashville, Michigan, on the family farm with dairy cows and haflinger ponies.  She was the oldest of 4 children.  After graduating from Maple Valley High School, she attended Western Michigan University where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Physical Education and her Masters Degree in Coaching.  While at WMU, she played basketball, field hockey, and softball for the Broncos.  After graduating, she played softball for the Lansing Laurels and Lansing Lassies.

During college, she met and fell in love with Jerry Gibbons.  They later married on August 17, 1974 in Nashville, MI, and built their dream home on Culver Lake in Dowling, Michigan.  Her love of sports drove her to dedicate 10 years to Lawrence Public Schools as a physical education teacher and coach of basketball, volleyball, and softball.

Jerry and Twilla began their family with the arrival of their daughter, Cheryl.  Upon the arrival of their son Joel, she retired from teaching to focus on family.  She spent endless hours involved in activities volunteering at Pleasantview Elementary, serving as a Girl Scout Leader, volunteering with Boy Scouts, coaching t-ball, softball, and baseball, and contributing her time to the Hastings Band Boosters.

As time went on, she focused on maintaining the farm as well as always being willing to help her elderly friends who lived close by.  She also supported Jerry by helping with various Masonic Lodge activities in Battle Creek.

She was blessed with five grandchildren Mia, Izzy, Madi, Jack, and Cara.  Much of her time with grandkids was spent watching softball, soccer, dance, and music activities.  She never missed an opportunity to teach them to fish, plant a garden, or go for a walk outdoors.

Twilla was preceded in death by her parents, Leo & Grace Marisch.  She is survived by her husband, Jerry Gibbons; her daughter, Cheryl (Brandon) Thomas of Three Rivers; son, Joel (Courtney) Gibbons of Pennfield; five loving grandchildren, Amelia, Isabella, Madilyn, Jackson, and Caroline; and siblings, Garry & Tanya Marisch of Holt, Sharon & Steve Jury of St. Johns, and Cindy Marisch of Alexandria, VA; as well as many nieces and nephews.

A short memorial service will be held 5:00 p.m., Thursday, May 4th at Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek, and a gathering will follow until 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please plant a fruit or flowering tree, or perennial flowers at your home in remembrance of Twilla.  Personal messages for the family may be placed at

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service & Gathering

Thursday, May 4, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Cremation Preneed Care

105 Capital Ave NE, Battle Creek, MI 49017

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