WHEN QUEEN Elizabeth II visited Philadelphia during the bicentennial in 1976, Kenneth Louis Gibson was chosen to be part of the special security detail.
It was one of many honors the dedicated police officer received in 28 years on the force.
"He had a strong sense of work ethics which made him eligible for many positions," his family wrote in an obituary.
Kenneth Gibson, who finished out his work career as a nonteaching assistant at Philadelphia public schools, where he was popular with the students, died Dec. 10 at 76.
He was born in Philadelphia to Saint Clair and Mabel Camille Gibson, and graduated from Overbrook High School in 1951.
His first job was as a sales clerk at Lit Brothers department store. He later was employed by Rubins Manufacturing Co. before enlisting in the Army in 1956. He was discharged in 1958 and joined the Police Department in 1962.
His first assignment was at the 1st District, 24th and Wolf streets.
"He was truly a peacemaker, with a passion for serving people," his family wrote.
After his retirement, Kenneth became a nonteaching assistant at Gilbert Spruance Elementary School. After a few years, he transferred to Roxborough High School and became the lead NTA.
He was popular with students, who called him "Mr. Gibs."
Kenneth was a longtime member of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, where he sang in the Chancel Choir.
He married the former Jean Robertson in 1962. After her death, he married Denise McKinney on Aug. 23, 2003.
He had a love of history and the arts, and liked to take his grandchildren to museums. He also enjoyed social functions as well as traveling, casino trips and attending family gatherings.
"Kenneth was known for his shining personality, his hearty sense of humor and unmistakable baritone singing voice," his family wrote. "His laughter could fill a room and his smile warmed many hearts."
Besides his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Julie Jebbari; a son, Mark; a stepson, Dana Preston; two brothers, Charles and Raymond, and two grandchildren.