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Beloved Aquatics Icon Rob Gibson Dies

A memorial service and optional 'paddle-out' will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Campus Point

Rob Gibson passed away early Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009. He was with his brothers in his home, as he wanted.

Gibson was the driving force behind so many programs that served and supported children in the community. He was a veteran State Beach lifeguard, the Refugio Jr. Guard coordinator, the UCSB Jr. Guard coordinator, a swimming and water polo instructor and coach for both UCSB students and local youths, as well as the “grand master” of the Goleta Union School District third-grade swim lesson program. The GUSD program was a priority for Gibson, as he knew how important learning to swim was to children of all socio-economic levels.

He was a tireless advocate for youths. He could see the positive in any child and build on that. He was patient and supportive. His goal was not too produce elite athletes, but to build from the inside out. Build self-esteem, work ethic, commitment to self, family and others. Build strong ties to teammates, stewards of the environment, and strong, healthy bodies and minds.

His friends feel so fortunate to have accompanied him on part of his journey, to have seen his passionate commitment to the community and learned many lessons along the way.

A memorial service to celebrate Gibson will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21 at Campus Point. There will be an optional “paddle-out” for those who would like to honor him on the water as well. If you have a board, bring it. UCSB also will provide as many boards as possible.

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