February 19, 1951 - June 14, 2020
Memorial gifts may be made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness Tarrant County, 3136 W 4th Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107.
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Melissa Brown Gibbons of Joshua, Texas, died Sunday, June 14, 2020 at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, Fort Worth, surrounded by people she loved.
Melissa was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on February 9, 1951, to Jack Emerson Brown and Martha Taylor (‘Randy’) Brown. The second of three daughters, she grew up in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado as her oil perforation engineer father was transferred to locations around the San Juan Basin. After moving eight times before Melissa was seven, the family moved to Houston, Texas, where she graduated from Mirabeau B. Lamar high school. She earned a BA in Biology and science education from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s degree in education and counseling from Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
While in Austin Melissa met and fell in love with Dennis Gibbons; they married in 1980 and had two sons.
Melissa was a passionate and gifted teacher and mentor. During her career teaching high school biology she received several teaching awards, including state science teacher of the year, and was Lead Content Teacher and Department Chair at Paschal High School in Fort Worth. She also spent many years counseling and advising teachers, serving as an adjunct faculty member with University of Texas at Arlington as well as a new teacher advisor for Fort Worth ISD.
She was also a passionate advocate and leader for families encountering mental health issues, and served as President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Tarrant County for many years.
Melissa loved singing, in the car with her dad, mom and sisters, in high school choir and musicals, with Girl Scouts and other friends and with guitars. In recent years with the choir at First Congregational UCC in Fort Worth, a congregation she treasured.
She loved Colorado, especially the Four Corners area, where she spent most vacations Most of all she loved her family, the one she was born into, the one she created with husband Dennis, and the one made of friends she gathered; she tried to take care of them and was a passionate protector and advocate.
She is survived by husband Dennis, sons Taylor and Matthew, sisters Shelley Brown and Kristin Smith husband Luke and son Nathan, her cousin Anne Norman, and many other cousins and friends.