Robert Ray (Bobby) Gibbens

Robert Ray (Bobby) Gibbens

Robert Ray (Bobby) Gibbens was born in an old ranch home just west of the Nueces River in Uvalde County on October 21, 1933, to William Peter (Pete) and Margaret (Maggie) Heard Gibbens. He went to his heavenly home on December 11, 2020, with his children by his side.

While growing up on the ranch, he became a skilled cowboy working alongside his father and brothers. He also developed a life long love of the outdoors hunting and fishing.

Bobby graduated from Uvalde High School in 1953 and then attended Southwest Texas State Teachers College on a football and track scholarship. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1956 where he served for two years. He then returned to SWT in 1958 and graduated in May 1959, with a B.S. in Education in the field of Physical Education. Before departing Southwest Texas for Army duty, he was chosen as a co-captain with his older brother John, and after returning from service, with his younger brother Sid. He would also make lifelong friends that would become his “Bobcat” family. They, along with their spouses, would meet faithfully for over 50 years.

While in high school, “the Gibbens Boys” were well known throughout and beyond Uvalde County for their athletic abilities. In college, all three brothers lettered in football, were members of the “T” Association, and were elected to the Southwest Texas State University’s Hall of Honor.

Bobby also met the love of his life while at SWT, Laquita, on a blind date. They married on May 30, 1959. They would have two children, Diana Kay and Robert Ray, Jr.

Bobby coached and taught at San Marcos Baptist Academy, Sabinal ISD, and Karnes City ISD for a total of 36 years. He loved teaching and coaching all his students, being a mentor and role model to many. In 2018, Bobby and Laquita were honored with the first Past Educators of the Year presented by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes of Karnes City High School.

He was a member of the Baptist Temple Church in Uvalde, and faithfully attended First Baptist Church in Karnes City. He was also a lifetime member of the Texas State Teachers’ Association, the Texas Coaches Association, Texas Retired Teachers Association and the Texas Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Bobby was preceded in death by his loving wife of 60 years, Laquita, parents Pete and Maggie Gibbens, brothers John and Sid Gibbens and sister-in-law Jo Gibbens.

He is survived by his daughter Diana and husband Tim Backlund of Boerne; son Robert Gibbens, Jr. and wife Shelley of Fredericksburg; four grandchildren, Kate Gibbens of Fredericksburg; Meg Barrett (Ginger) of San Angelo; Lacey Barrett (Andrew) of San Antonio, and Austin Backlund (Angel) of San Antonio; and 4 great-grandchildren Brynley, Kolten, Nora and Mona. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Lou Gibbens of Bulverde, one niece and four nephews, and their loving families.

A visitation was held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, December 18, 2020, at Rhodes Funeral Home Chapel in Karnes City. The funeral service was held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 19, 2020, at The First Baptist Church in Karnes City. Graveside service was conducted at 3:30 p.m. at the Uvalde City Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church Youth Fund (P.O. Box 367, Karnes City, Tx 78118), the Karnes County Retired School Personnel Scholarship Fund (776 CR 196 Karnes City, Tx 78118 Attn: Margaret Ryan), the Texas High School Coaches Education Foundation (, or charity of your choice.

The family would like to extend their appreciation to Menger Springs and Alamo Hospice of Boerne for their care and support.

Rhodes Funeral Home

Recommended for you

(1) entry

ELAINE Roberts

So sorry to hear of the passing of Coach Gibbens!

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.