John Leonard’s dad passed away in North Carolina. Bringing him back to Chicago was a process directed and taken care of by the Gibbons Family. As a Lieutenant of the Chicago Fire Department, Mr. Leonard was transported by plane back to Chicago. Upon arriving at the airport to pick up Mr. Leonard, Michael Gibbons was directed with his hearse to the tarmac where Firetrucks with crossed ladders along with dozens of Fire Department personnel in dress uniforms standing at attention were already honoring their brother Fireman and Officer. Then, with their lights at full brightness and movement, the motorcade of fire equipment and the Gibbon’s hearse with Lt. Leonard on board were escorted to the funeral home. As John remembers it, “it was quite something”.
First Responders have a special place at Gibbons Family Funeral Home and always have. “We have a history and a tradition of taking care of the families of the men and women who serve our citizens in Chicago” says Michael Gibbons. Both the Chicago Fire Department and Chicago Police Department consider their members to be family, and that tradition and camaraderie extends through to the moment when they say good bye to a fallen officer and send them home.
For the Gibbons Family, it is an honor and a privilege to be among the people who Chicago’s families choose for this responsibility. There’s no effort too great to take special care of the people who protect us every day.
Gibbons Family Funeral Home has added an electronic guestbook for families we serve. By recording information electronically, it eliminates issues reading handwriting or accidentally missing a guest on a page. After the funeral services are complete, we provide pre-addressed envelopes for each person or family who registered for our families to make the process of sending acknowledgement cards easier and much faster for them. People have become easily accustomed to using the Guestbook and the records are very easy for our families to access afterward.
Joe Wright, the developer of the software for our electronic registry book had the opportunity to see his work first hand with a beloved member of his own family. “When my own grandmother passed away and her services were held at Gibbons, I had an opportunity to see how well our system worked. It was a relief to see that it did make things much easier for guests and especially families after the visitation” according to Joe. The Gibbons Family is always working to find ways to make the very difficult time of loss a little bit easier. And in this case, technology has been added to help. “Michael Gibbons is always open to expanding and adding services to the families he serves” says Joe. Adding, “this really is a big help”.
For additional information about Pre-planning, At need planning or any questions you may have, contact us, 24 hours a day at Gibbons Family Funeral Home 773-777-3944 or visit http://www.gffh.com
Laurie Beckman has had very difficult experiences with loss in her life. So difficult that it is very hard to talk about, but important to her to share.
Laurie lost a very new baby boy who was born very premature at 21 weeks, weighing 8 oz. He passed very shortly after his birth. Her family had the opportunity to celebrate his very brief love-filled life and know that he was being cared for with great love and compassion by the Gibbons Family. Laurie lost her mom to pancreatic cancer. She passed away 8 months after the diagnosis. Laurie’s mom was remarkably special to her; an amazing and supportive woman. Losing her was very difficult. Laurie entrusted her arrangements to the family she knew would take care of every detail. Laurie then lost another son who had become ill at 1 year of age. As overwhelming as this much loss was in a relatively short period of time, Laurie feels that the Gibbons Family shared in all of her difficulty and loss and were there for her in a way she could hardly explain.
“I trusted this family. Anything we needed, they were there. They are extremely caring; wonderful. They knew what we needed”, is how Laurie explains it.
As difficult as it is to discuss, the grieving of losses, especially profound losses, is important to Laurie. She counts her blessings dearly and among them are a family who knew what to do, when and how and take care of every detail that required attention. All the while, they grieved too. “Our families are bonded and there for one another. When Laurie says we were like her family, we’re humbled and grateful to know that. She’s very much a part of the Gibbons Family”, says Michael Gibbons. Adding, “we’re honored”.
For additional information about Pre-planning, At need planning or any questions, you may have, contact us, 24 hours a day at Gibbons Family Funeral Home 773-777-3944 or visit www.gffh.com
Barbara Murphy’s dad passed away at 74. It had been 50 years since he served. The Murphy’s didn’t realize that Mr. Murphy had indeed earned funeral and burial services with his service. The Gibbons made sure to advise them of everything that was available to them. Among their first questions was “Did he serve?” From there, the Gibbons took care of everything to ensure the military honors were bestowed upon Mr. Murphy. Barbara remembers a moment during the service where the American Flag was being folded. From her vantage point, the flag was hovering above her father. Her description was “it took our breath away”. A United States Marine will often repeat the credo that “Once a Marine, you never stop being a Marine”. The ceremony was moving to every person there. Barbara shares that had it not been for the Gibbons Family, they would never have known that her father was entitled to these services that were earned by his service.
Veterans are entitled to many services including burial at no charge at a National Cemetery like the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois. For additional information about Military benefits and honors, Pre-planning, At need planning or any questions you may have, contact us, 24 hours a day at Gibbons Family Funeral Home 773-777-3944 or visit www.gffh.com
John Gorski is Past President of the Center and member of the Board of Directors, states “We preserve our heritage”. We all promote the mission together with Gibbons Family Funeral Home, and many of the surrounding supportive businesses and services on the north side. The Gibbons Family has helped a lot of our members with their needs for services. Michael helps the families when they’ve suffered a loss, He helps them when the journey is difficult, both with his involvement at the funeral home and his involvement with the Irish American Heritage Center. The Gibbon’s Family understands our families and they fulfill their mission and ministry with kindness. They also understand the mission of the Irish American Heritage Center in the lives of the people here. Michael Gibbons is a former member of the Board. For generations, the Gibbon’s Family has worked closely with the Center to preserve Irish Heritage in Chicago, the US, and Ireland.
Judy Teubert is from the neighborhood. In Chicago, people are likely ask what neighborhood and what parish you come from moments into meeting you. Judy is from St. Pascal’s, a parish we’ve served for generations. She has always wanted to help the people she grew up with. It’s a special thing to be able to help people in their time of greatest need for Judy, and being from the community, it’s likely their families have connected and intersected often throughout the years. There’s also some greater pride and responsibility with assisting families that you know so well, often families who have likely seen you grow up.
Family is important to the Gibbon’s Family. It’s not often that a person who isn’t directly related to the Gibbons Family is providing service at a Gibbons Funeral Home. Michael Gibbons explains it rather simply, “Judy is family. She’s grown up here. She was a student apprentice here. We were very excited for her to continue her service here. She is part of our family.”
While Judy is a St. Pascal’s graduate and parishioner, she spent years playing basketball in the gyms of Our Lady of Victory, St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Francis Borgia, St. Bartholomew and Immaculate Conception in Edison Park, to name a few. “Gaining the trust and confidence of the people in the neighborhoods of the northwest side of Chicago and serving them now is a remarkable privilege”, says Judy.
For nearly 70 years, the Gibbons Family have been honoring a tradition begun by their grandparents, Thomas and Anne Gibbons. Believing the service never really ends for the families they’ve served since opening their first funeral home, they began a tradition of “remembering” the loved ones of those families with a monthly mass at St. Patrick’s Church in Chicago. Every month, a mass is celebrated remembering all the families and loved ones who passed away during that month. A month prior families receive a letter of notice to remind them of the mass of remembrance for the upcoming month of the anniversary of their loved one’s passing. These masses have brought families together for years to celebrate their loved ones together as a community. Lifelong friendships have developed as people have come to know one another through the commonality of celebrating the lives of their loved ones. Many people attend several of the masses each year commemorating different beloved members of their family.
A member of the third generation of the Gibbons Family, Michael, of Gibbon’s Family Funeral Home in Chicago states, “I’m so proud of the tradition started by our grandparents and continuing today. It is a privilege for our family to be trusted into our third generation serving generations of people throughout the Chicago area”. Adding “It’s nice to see people at St.Pat’s where we’re celebrating together happy memories”. Added Rev. Fr. Karl Langsdorf who often is the celebrant at the family masses, “Tommy and Ann Gibbons are smilin’ down on their kids and grandkids for continuing this wonderful tradition they started. I’m sure they’re so proud”.
Firefighters come here for a reason. Gibbons Family Funeral Home knows how to manage the arrangements that can be more ceremonial than many visitations and funerals. There are official rites, religious rites and always very large crowds paying respects to a fallen member of a family they are a part of all of their life. “If the funeral home weren’t good at accommodating these services, word would get around” chuckled Fr. John McNalis, Asst. Chaplin for the Chicago Fire Department. Adding, “The Gibbons Family is outstanding, so that’s the word that’s gotten around, and they take care of a lot of our members”. Our heroic First Responders and Veterans deserve the special treatment they’ve earned with their public service.
“My family is very proud that so many families choose us for the honor of laying to rest their loved ones”, says Michael Gibbons, adding “We have been and always will be here for them”.
Kathie Warta shares the experience of her family when preparing arrangements for her mother. Her mom suffered from memory loss and was not able to help. The family wished they spent a little bit more time discussing what her mom would have liked before her memory loss occurred. Kathie shares with people in similar circumstances that it is important to have some discussions before these decisions need to be made so the family has the peace of mind of knowing for sure that they are truly honoring the wishes of their loved one. Having those discussions when loss is not imminent makes it easier. Every family will face loss at some time. Fulfilling the wishes of a loved one is enormously rewarding to a family. Whether it is knowing apparel choices, songs, readings, remembrances or other elements offuneral planning, the direction to family members from a loved one creates an expression of love in itself that they can carry out. Families want to know they are honoring and celebrating a life in the manner in which it would be most appreciated.
Eileen O’Grady Newell refers to little details that make a great big difference. She understands how much stress grief causes. She understands that there are only a few days to account for everything that matters for a loved one who has a lifetime of important moments to consider.
“I feel like they knew what we wanted before we said it.” And the Gibbons Family does know. Mostly because they listen. Something that is “important” and something “that would be nice” are things they pay close attention to so they can ensure those things occur, In Eileen’s case, when entering the cemetery, her father observed that it would be so nice after driving past the house, it would be so nice for them to pass his daughter’s resting place as well. In the blink of an eye the procession passed the children’s section where his daughter resting place was. It was a little thing that meant so much because a family listened to a family they were serving. That’s what a family owned business does. They treat you like family. Because you are.
For just a little while, this is “home” for the families the Gibbons Family serves.
This place needed to feel like home to all of our families. “It was important to my father that people felt this way” says Michael Gibbons. “This was our home. We lived upstairs.”Katie Sweeney confirmed that this warm environment was home for the days they needed it to be. It was so inviting during a difficult time. “It made it a little bit easier here” Katie shares.
At Gibbons Family Funeral Home, we look for every way we can make the process of celebrating the life of your loved one an experience that families can share in an environment that makes it accommodating to your family, your friends and neighbors. It’s among the most meaningful and purposeful thing we do to continue serving generations of families who entrust us with their loved ones when it matters most.
When you come to make arrangements at Gibbons Family Funeral Home, one of our key responsibilities is to understand the life of the person you’ve placed in our care. If you’re loved one is a Veteran, belonged to a special organization or had a deep connection to a particular cause or place, it’s important that we discover those connections. We can accommodate a lot of different types of ceremonies and customs as part of the service. We want to offer you every opportunity to honor your loved one that you would like. Veteran Services, Fraternal Services, Church and Religious Services, Organizational Tributes can all be part of the experience. We’ll listen carefully and we’ll ask if there are any special tributes that would make your services more personal and special. We have had ample experience in making accommodations for special requests and honors.
At the conclusion of the services, we would like you to feel that we did everything we could to help you honor your loved one exactly the way he or she would have appreciated. We promise to work with you to make this tribute a lasting and special one that is remembered for being up to or beyond your expectations. If something makes this moment more special, we’ll do our best to make sure it’s included in the services.
For At-Need Arrangements, Pre-need or any questions at all, we’re here night and day to assist you. Contact us at 773-777-3944 or http://www.gffh.com/
Gibbons Family Funeral Home – 70 years of tradition honoring our families at Old St. Pat’s.
When Thomas and Anne Gibbons began serving the families of Chicago with the opening of the first Gibbons Funeral Home, they began a tradition of monthly memorial masses at Old St. Pat’s that now celebrates over 70 years of tradition. Every month, a mass is celebrated remembering all of the families and loved ones who passed away during that month. A month prior families receive a letter of notice to remind them of the mass of remembrance for the upcoming month of the anniversary of their loved one’s passing. Over the years, many families have come to know one another as they have celebrated together. Many families celebrate during several months of the year as the Gibbons Family has provided services for them for generations of their families.
Michael Gibbons of Gibbon’s Family Funeral Home states, “I’m so proud of the tradition started by our grandparents and continuing today. It is a privilege for our family to be trusted into our third generation serving generations of people throughout the Chicago area”. Additionally Michael says “It’s nice to see people at St.Pat’s where we’re celebrating together happy memories”. Added Rev. Fr. Karl Langsdorf who often is the celebrant at the family masses, “Tommy and Ann Gibbons are smilin’ down on their kids and grandkids for continuing this wonderful tradition they started. I’m sure they’re so proud”.
For any questions regarding our Monthly Mass of remembrance or more information on Pre-arrangements or At-Need services, we are available 24 hours a day at Gibbons Family Funeral Home 773-777-3944 or visit www.gffh.com