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Farm values, a love of family and a positive outlook are the driving forces in Cindy Gibson’s life.
She was raised on a farm in southern Hardin County, one of 16 children. Gibson and her twin sister are numbers 13 and 14 and among the youngest in the family.
“I’m really proud to be raised in that family,” she said.
All of her siblings are still living and 12 live in Hardin County.
She remembers when she was a young adult and there were 80 people in her parent’s home during family gatherings. When you got your plate, you just found a spot wherever you could find it, she said.
Now when they get together there are about 60 in attendance. That’s still a lot of people but a fraction of the more than 100 in the family. But no one’s home is big enough for that, she said.
“I count my blessings that I had the upbringing that I did because without a doubt it’s responsible for my work ethic today,” she said.
Farm life was great, except when she had to strip tobacco, her least favorite thing to do on the farm.
Growing up in a large family gave her skills important to her work in banking today.
In such a large family, she’s had to be good at remembering names and she also had to learn how to get along with people.
She’s been in the banking business for almost 30 years and has been at The Cecilian Bank for 15 years where she serves as a banking center manager and a loan officer.
Through her job and the relationships she develops, Gibson said she feels she can make a difference in the lives of others.
The desire to help others led her to become involved in the A.M. Rotary Club in 2000. She was asked to come to breakfast one morning and before she knew it she was being proposed as a new member. After researching the organization and finding out for what it stood, she joined.
She didn’t just want to be a member but wanted to get involved, serving five years as secretary and later vice president before taking a step back in 2007.
Her twin sister’s daughter, Tiffany, was diagnosed with brain cancer that year and Gibson spent a lot of time traveling to Tennessee to be with them. Tiffany was treated for 18 months before she died in January of 2009.
“That was a life-altering event for me and reinforced to me how important it is to do for others,” she said.
Gibson witnessed how much her sister sacrificed for her daughter. After Tiffany’s death, Gibson didn’t want to commit herself to anything other than work and family but, after some time, rejoined Rotary in 2011. She is now the club’s president.
She is able to make a difference locally and globally, keeping in mind the club’s motto, “Service above Self.”
“I feel like that is what I want to be doing at this point in my life, serving others and doing for others,” she said.
Her joy in helping others feeds into her personal outlook on life.
“Happiness is a choice so every day I choose to be happy,” she said.
Every day she tells herself it’s going to be a great day and she hopes to pass on that outlook. When people ask her how she is she doesn’t reply “fine” or “good.” She replies, “great,” and says it with conviction.
Gibson also sang in a local contemporary Christian group for 14 years until stepping down when she realized she couldn’t give it the attention she thought it deserved.
“I’m not one of those people who can commit to multiple things at one time,” she said. If she does, she won’t do anything well. She’s been very carful not to over commit to things.
But music is still important to Gibson and can be therapeutic.
Her newest hobby is hunting, her husband David’s favorite sport. Since the day they were married she promised him she would go with him some day but never seemed to have the time.
After several deaths in their family, Gibson realized she wasn’t promised a tomorrow and wanted to go hunting because it was important to him.
At first she thought she’d just go and watch to spend time with him. Then she decided she’d hunt.
The first year, she got a jake, a younger male turkey, but really wanted a big gobbler. The next year, she got one.
Hunting has been fun for Gibson and this year she’ll try deer hunting for the first time. Her husband built what she calls a deer hotel for when she goes deer hunting.
Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or email@example.com.
Getting to know Cindy Gibson: