On May 5, 1935 (Note: The Cinco de Mayo connection is important here.) Robert Ray Gibbons was born in St. Johns, but he grew up as a 20-year-old missionary in Uruguay. There he began a life-long love affair with Hispanic language, people and culture. (See note above.) In 1958 he returned from South America and had the good sense and good fortune to marry Yvonne Mills, a close college friend from Show Low. Her love, support and teacher’s salary allowed Robert to receive a BA and MA from ASU and begin a 7-year joy ride as a Spanish teacher at Arcadia High School.
In 1966 he received an appointment as a Foreign Service Officer with the United States Information Agency. The next 30 years saw him, Yvonne and their five children (Michael, Bryn, Kevin, Christopher and Caryn) growing and benefiting from US Embassy assignments to five different Latin American countries plus out-of-area postings to Iraq, Nigeria and Pakistan. Retirement in 1994 was short-lived as he and Yvonne answered church missionary assignments to the Family History Centers in Mesa and Colombia followed by a call to serve in a new LDS temple in Mexico. In 2002, he locked up his dog-eared passport in his worn-out attaché case and served in the Mesa temple for twenty years before his death on March 19, 2020. A graveside service was held at the Show Low Cemetery on March 28, 2020.