Anne Lynn Gibbs

Jan. 10, 1947 — Dec. 14, 2011

Anne Lynn Gibbs was born to Bob and Ruth Gibbs in Honolulu, Hawaii. She often expressed the joy of going barefooted everywhere, including to Punahou School, and living on Hawaiian time — no need to rush, or to rush anyone else, a practice she maintained throughout her life.

When Anne was seven, Bob’s job required the family to move to Piedmont, then, several years later to Erie, Pa., and finally to Orinda, where Anne graduated from high school. Anne continued her education at UC Davis, where she also established herself as an accomplished guitarist, singer and composer. With her sister Kathy and a friend, she formed the folk trio of Unky, Phoebe and Fatty Anne. The group performed at campus events and went to Nashville for a summer, where they played at numerous venues, including an outdoor concert featuring country singer Tex Ritter. An agent offered them a recording contract, but typical of Anne, she declined the offer to finish her education, the responsible thing to do.

After obtaining her teaching credential at UCD, Anne first taught at Valley Oak. Her innovative teaching methods, passion for music and the arts, and genuine love and concern for all her students, endeared her to kids and their families, who remember her fondly to this day.

Anne moved on to Pioneer Elementary School to teach third grade, and then earned a Reading Teacher’s Credential and Master’s Degree. At Pioneer she developed a highly effective reading program, personally creating many teaching methods and materials, and her students and instructional aides greatly valued their time together and the great progress made.

Anne never lost her passion for music and the performing arts. She wrote and marketed many children’s musicals, many of which she herself enthusiastically directed. The quality of the music and performances was remarkable and spurred many students on to continue in acting and singing. She co-directed the annual Pioneer talent show for 15 years with her wife, Bev, also a Pioneer teacher. Anne displayed a unique gift for refining each act to epitomize the success of every performer. She and Bev shared many warm and wonderful memories of the hundreds of student acts they supported.

Anne’s sincere compassion for all students with challenges in their lives frequently placed her in the role of providing them with a quiet, accepting environment in which to take a break and have a talk. Throughout the years, a great number of students came to value Anne’s ability to connect and counsel and would visit her room on recesses or after school. Anne valued these relationships more than the numerous awards she earned for her contributions to education and the performing arts.

Friends and family benefited no less from Anne’s generous and loving spirit. She would do whatever possible to assist and support them and will continue to be a powerful source of inspiration to all who knew her, especially her partner and wife of over 17 years, Bev Benedum; her sister Kathy; her brother Dave and his wife Karen; Bev’s daughter April, husband Jon; and Anne’s grandkids by them, Macy and Emmy; and her nieces, nephews, and their families.

A service will be held to celebrate Anne’s life, the date and time to be announced.

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