Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0328
Illinois General Assembly

Previous General Assemblies

Full Text of HR0328  101st General Assembly




HR0328LRB101 12180 MST 59806 r


2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of Carolyn
4Jean Boddie Gibson, who passed away on April 12, 2019; and
5    WHEREAS, Carolyn Gibson was born in Little Rock, Arkansas
6to Richard L. and Dorothy Wiggins Boddie on April 9, 1931 and
7was raised by her grandparents, Lula and E.D. Wiggins, after
8the passing of her mother; she attended Dunbar High School and
9graduated from Arkansas AM&N (University of Arkansas at Pine
10Bluff), where she was a majorette, homecoming queen, and
11charter member of the Delta Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta
12Sorority, Inc.; she married Ernest Gibson; and
13    WHEREAS, Carolyn Gibson joined the Freshman Studies
14Department at Arkansas AM&N, eventually becoming the Director
15of Counseling and Testing; and
16    WHEREAS, Shortly after Brown v Board of Education (1954),
17Carolyn Gibson helped provide support to the families of the
18Little Rock Nine during the struggle for integration of Little
19Rock Central High School, her first active involvement in the
20Civil Rights Movement; and
21    WHEREAS, In 1962, Carolyn Gibson and her family moved to



HR0328- 2 -LRB101 12180 MST 59806 r

1Birmingham, Alabama, where they operated the A.G. Gaston Motel
2and Restaurant, which was a part of several "Green Book"
3locations across the South that provided African Americans
4lodging and dining; the Gaston Motel was the headquarters and
5the residence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern
6Christian Leadership Conference in their efforts to
7desegregate public facilities in Birmingham; the motel hosted
8leaders and celebrities from all over the world who came there
9for strategy meetings, marches, and other events; the hotel was
10a constant target of harassment and arrests, culminating in the
11bombing of the motel on Mother's Day 1963; and
12    WHEREAS, In 1964, Carolyn Gibson and Ernie accepted
13positions in the Joliet public schools; in the fall of 1967,
14they were instrumental in bringing Dr. King to Joliet to speak;
15the family moved to Glen Ellyn and Carolyn became the third
16black educator in Wheaton, where she taught for the next 25
17years; and
18    WHEREAS, Carolyn Gibson was active in the faculty wives
19organization for the College of DuPage, where she earned a
20master's degree in reading; and
21    WHEREAS, Each year since the inception of the federal
22holiday marking the birthday of Dr. King, Carolyn Gibson
23planned her school's observance; her efforts were featured in a



HR0328- 3 -LRB101 12180 MST 59806 r

1Chicago Tribune article in 1990, "Mrs. Gibson, Tell Us About
2Martin Luther King"; she also started her school's annual
3observance of Black History Month; and
4    WHEREAS, Carolyn Gibson was involved in many activities
5aimed at the betterment of the quality of education; she served
6as vice president of the Wheaton-Warrenville Education
7Association Diversity Committee and chairperson of the board of
8directors of the Illinois Education Association (IEA) Region
932; she was a member of the IEA Executive Committee, the NEA
10National Education Committee, the NEA Black Caucus, and the NEA
11Resolutions Committee; she was a frequent Illinois delegate to
12NEA national conventions; and
13    WHEREAS, Carolyn Gibson was a founding member and the first
14president of the Glen Ellyn Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma
15Theta Sorority, Inc., where she was a Golden Life member; she
16was a charter member of the West Towns Chapter of Links, Inc.,
17where she was a Platinum member; she served for six years as
18president of the DuPage County branch of the NAACP and was a
19member of the board of directors of the DuPage County Girl
20Scouts; and
21    WHEREAS, Carolyn Gibson and Ernie, along with others, were
22founders of the DuPage AME Church; she and Ernie headed the
23fundraising efforts in the western suburbs for the mayoral



HR0328- 4 -LRB101 12180 MST 59806 r

1campaign of Harold Washington; they both were appointed by the
2governor to serve on the state committee to make Dr. King's
3birthday a federal observance; and
4    WHEREAS, In 1996, Carolyn Gibson "retired" to Olympia
5Fields; she was appointed in 2001 to complete a term as clerk
6for the Village of Olympia Fields; she was elected as a trustee
7for Olympia Fields in 2003 and served for 16 years; during her
8tenure, she was trustee liaison to the Public Safety Committee,
9the Community Relations Commission, and the Police Pension
10Board; she was also a member of the Olympia Fields Enhancement
11Organization; and
12    WHEREAS, Carolyn Gibson served on the board of the Good
13Shepherd Center, which provides support, service, and
14education for adults and children with and without
15disabilities; she also served as its vice president; she was a
16national board member and president of the Chicago Chapter of
17the Dunbar/Horace Mann National Alumni Association; and
18    WHEREAS, Carolyn Gibson loved reading books and enjoyed her
19membership in the Meant To Be book club, where she actively
20participated for 16 years; she set a high example of excellence
21for her girls; she was extremely proud of her daughters and
22spent much time touting their successes; for the past 35 years,
23her family has taken a yearly trip, which included visiting



HR0328- 5 -LRB101 12180 MST 59806 r

1such destinations as the Bahamas, Mexico, Florida, Colorado,
2and Nevada; for the past 14 years, the family has met on
3Martha's Vineyard; and
4    WHEREAS, Carolyn Gibson is survived by her husband, Ernie;
5her daughters, Stephanie Gibson Branton (Wiley) and Dorothy
6Capers (Steve); her grandchildren, Carolyn Lucille Branton
7Smith (Courtney), Wiley Austin Branton III, Mariah Cathryn
8Matthews, and Mackenzie Marie Capers; her brother, Richard E.
9Boddie; her nieces, Wyndolyn Boddie Hughes (Roy) and Debbie
10Gibson; her nephew, Richard Lamont Boddie; and numerous other
11family, bonus children, and friends; therefore, be it
14we mourn the passing of Carolyn Jean Boddie Gibson and extend
15our sincere condolences to her family, friends, and all who
16knew and loved her; and be it further
17    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
18presented to the family of Carolyn Gibson as an expression of
19our deepest sympathy.