Community Heroes: Harry Gibson gives back to the community

Community Heroes

Johnson City’s Harry Gibson could retire now. He has lived a good life, has a wonderful family, and a successful business.

But this Community Hero chooses to give back to the young people of his community.

You only need to look behind Harry Gibson’s desk at his old jerseys that hang in shadow boxes to know he treasures his days at Science Hill High School. Gibson graduated in 1961 as a three-sport athlete before joining the National Guard.

“You can find a anchor any place I guess,” he laughs. “But I served for 32 years, and ended up retiring as a lieutenant colonel.”

His life journey has taken him on many adventures and owning a successful business allowed Gibson to make it a priority to give back to his community.

He played an important role in bringing the Veterans Memorial to Johnson City.

“It’s important to let the community know the people that have served from this community,” Gibson said. “Those who are still living and very specifically, those who paid the ultimate price.”

He’s done it in so many ways, through the Parks and Recreation Department, Boys and Girls Club, and at his alma mater, Science Hill. Many times, he is told a need and immediately springs into action. That action turns into money used for things like filling the Topper Fieldhouse weight room with equipment.

“In three months, we raised $100,00 and equipped that weight room,” Gibson said.

You can see how schools have honored Gibson. His name proudly welcomes visitors to fields, and he is always looked to as one who makes sure students have a positive place to go to help them become productive members of society.

“…To provide for the citizens of Johnson City, to provide them with things, especially our kids, the things they need to be successful in life,” he said.

So, instead of retiring and letting someone else take over, Gibson looks at his old jerseys on the wall with pride and continues his mission to better his community.

“I don’t think there’s a better place to live in the country than Johnson City, Tennessee,” he said.

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