The Gibbons Family, now in their 3rd Generation of Service to Families in the Chicago and Northwest Suburban area, opened their first funeral home in Chicago at 4245 W. Madison in Chicago. The original building was razed many years ago after the Gibbons Family moved the funeral home further west to 124 W. Madison, in Oak Park. While serving as the Family Funeral Home for 10 years, it was time to move. The building remains there in another capacity. Needing more space for families and parking accommodations, the Gibbons Family purchased at existing funeral home (Behnke-McKenna) at 5917 W. Irving Park Road in 1974. While this location has undergone several remodeling and expansion processes over the years, this location remains the Chicago location for the Gibbons Family.
Grandpa Thomas Gibbons along with his wife Ann, known affectionately as Granny Gibbons to the current generation were both licensed embalmers and funeral directors. Thomas Gibbons graduated from Worsham Mortuary College in 1935 and was President of his class. Ann Gibbons graduated from Worsham in 1946. Tom and Ann were both known for their kindness and compassion to families in Chicago and to the churches and parishes they worked so closely with. When St. Patrick’s Church in Chicago had severely dwindling attendance and even more severe financial problems, the Gibbons started their Monthly Mass of Remembrance for all of those who passed away during each month. It not only gave Tom and Ann an opportunity to make a generous donation on behalf of all of those families each month. It also attracted thousands of people per year to the struggling, but historic Catholic Church in the West Loop. Today, Old St. Pat’s in among the most thriving parishes is the Archdiocese and the country for that matter. This decades long tradition continues with a mass for the families of the departed every single month of the year. Every Pastor since the 1950s has recognized the important contribution of the Gibbons Family in their assistance to St. Patrick’s during the years of struggle to maintain it’s community and vibrancy. The close relationship between the Gibbons Family and the family and parents of Cardinal Francis George led to the Gibbons Family led to their managing the Funeral Arrangements for the Cardinal at his personal request.
The next generation was carried on by Thomas A. Gibbons Sr. who graduated from Worsham in 1963. Much of the movement and expansion of the family facilities occurred during his long and distinguished time managing, building, renovating and redecorating each of the properties. He believed strongly that people wanted and deserved a beautiful place to prepare to send their loved one’s home. With his wife Rita, they meticulously had one property under redecoration or renovation at all times to ensure the decor and appointments of the funeral homes offered as much comfort and peace to families as possible. The beautiful collections of Belleek and Lladro and other statuary in each of the locations were acquired through the watchful and thoughtful eye of Rita, while Tom made sure each location was addressed from floor to ceiling and parking lot to parapet on the exteriors.
Today, it’s the next generation with Colleen, Tom (Jr.) and his wife Marya, Michael and Patrick maintaining the mantle of service to an ever growing community. Michael Gibbons is President & CEO of the Gibbons Family Funeral Home in Chicago. Along with that title comes “Chief Bottle Washer”, a title his father may have embraced more than any other. Because to him that meant “it’s all about service”. Was then. Is now.