Roger D. Gipson, 71, of Billings, died Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, in Billings.
A celebration of his life will be held Friday, Feb. 8 at 4 p.m. at Lillis Chapel in Billings.
Roger will be remembered by his family, friends, colleagues, and by generations of students for his humor, intellect, devotion to learning and teaching, and his love for his family. He spent his life pursuing knowledge and helping others understand the world we share.
A master educator, Roger shared his infectious curiosity and desire to understand the natural world with students, colleagues, friends and family alike. His quiet, incisive humor brought laughter to his many friendships. His professionalism as an educator aided colleagues in a wide range of teaching fields. His forty years of teaching launched generations of students on a journey to understand our biological world. And his love was the foundation on which his devoted family was built.
Born on June 25, 1947, in Ainsworth, Nebraska, Roger was the son of Merl Gipson and Ruth Ewen. He was raised in Greybull, Wyoming, where he graduated from high school before earning a bachelor’s degree from Hastings College and a master’s degree from Kearney State College, both in Nebraska.
Roger married Cynthia (Cindy) Miller Gipson on June 1, 1969, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The couple lived in Hastings until 1977, where Roger taught at Central Community College, after which they moved to Norfolk, Nebraska. Roger taught for 34 years at Northeast Community College, instructing thousands of nursing students and others in biology, human anatomy and physiology, microbiology and pathophysiology.
In addition to spending time with his family, Roger enjoyed flying light aircraft and playing guitar, and he performed in a wide range of musical groups throughout his life, with bandmates who were some of his greatest friends. He also loved to travel, and together Roger and Cindy visited much of the United States including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as parts of Russia, Tanzania, Morocco and Taiwan.
Roger will be deeply missed by many friends and loving family who survive him, including his son and daughter-in-law, Keith and Marie Gipson of Portland, Oregon; son, daughter-in-law and grandson, Neil, Keira and Isaac Gipson of Arlington, Virginia; mother Ruth Ewen of Billings; father Merl Gipson of Greybull, Wyoming; sister and brother-in-law Mary Lynn and Skip Anderson of Billings; mother-in-law Eleanor Necessary of Ontario, Oregon; father-in-law Dallas Miller of Newport News, Virginia; sister-in-law Ivy Nilluka of Ontario, Oregon; numerous nieces and nephews and their families; and his longtime companion Constance Colby of Cary, North Carolina.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Cindy.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that caring friends who wish to honor Roger’s legacy consider a contribution to the Roger & Cindy Gipson Memorial Scholarship of the Norfolk Public Schools at norfolkpublicschools.org/foundation/.