On Friday, September 8, 2023, our beloved son, brother and friend, William Richard Gibbs, climbed His highest earthly peak, and is now climbing to new heights unbounded by earthly limitations.
Will's smile would light up any room and make everyone around him feel happy. He always had a joke of the day or a goofy riddle handy to bring a smile. He used this affability everyday while teaching skiing at Deer Valley. While he tolerated adults, he loved teaching kids. It was the kid in him that made the kids he taught always request return lessons. Armed with his jokes and riddles he would soon have his lesson chasing through the woods to find Quincy’s Cabin or playing in Bucky’s Backyard.
Will had a passion for the outdoors. Whether it was skiing, mountain biking, surfing, hiking, wake boarding or just floating on a boat, he loved all that nature offered. He also was always on a quest for perfection. When he combined his love for skiing (or any of the other sports he enjoyed) with this quest, he would study the mechanics involved tirelessly and then practice each thing endlessly until he had mastered it. This meant endless rides down the terrain park in Park City, first learning a 360 off the jumps, then 720, then landing backwards and then doing Mistys and D Spins and nameless other tricks and sliding rails. When winter waned, you would find him at the Olympic jump park, coaching kids and flipping and spinning into the water. He never had the need to compete; he just enjoyed being on the mountain and perfecting his skill.
William had a quiet determination that allowed him to conquer many obstacles in his life. 5 years ago he was in a mountain biking accident where he suffered a spinal cord injury. After 7 hours of surgery, he awakened to the doctor’s prognosis that he would never walk again. He had no feeling or movement in his feet or legs. Believing there was still hope, he set a goal to climb to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite. Everyday, he did physical therapy and worked tirelessly on the prescribed exercises. The therapists at NeuroWorx embraced his goal and crafted therapies that helped him progress. The progress was slow and the work grueling, but he was able to accomplish this goal 1 year after his accident. This example of his belief and work ethic toward bringing that belief to fruition is how he lived his life.
Will loved helping others. He served a mission in Argentina and from that experience he learned to serve people of all walks of life and that all are equal before God. This belief formed the foundation of his life thereafter. He always had two criteria for a job; was it outside and was it helping others.
William loved adrenalin sports; skiing, surfing, mountain biking. The faster or higher the better. From the time he first learned how to ski or ride a bike, he always wanted to go faster and jump off of everything. While this was what he was known for growing up, the thing that really set him apart with people who really knew him, was his kindness, positivity, quiet demeanor, determination and ability to encourage all those with whom he came in contact.
Our Will exemplified his name throughout his life through his determination, his sheer Will to reach amazing heights, perfecting whatever he set his mind to, achieving and overcoming, prevailing! We will always find him in the peace and respite of the mountains and in the beauty of the great outdoors, always honoring and paying tribute to his extraordinary life.
Will was born October 8, 1987, in Salt Lake City, Utah to William Clark Gibbs and Elizabeth Dowell Gibbs. Will is survived by his parents and four siblings, Whitney (Brad Butler), Lauren (Lars Reber), Madeline Eliza (Nate Goldhardt), and Graham (Mary Fraser); and seven nieces and nephews.
A private celebration of William’s life will be held in September.
I'm really sorry for you loss. Will and I worked together in Argentina, as missionaries. He had such a pure heart. He loved helping others and I learned a lot from him while we were in Argentina. He will always be in my heart and people's hearts that he helped.
I served in the same mission as Will, from MTC to the mission field he was one of the best out there for sure. My deepest heartfelt condolences to family and friends.
My heart goes out to Elder Gibbs’ family. I served with Elder Gibbs in Argentina. He truly has a kind gentle heart and soul. So many memories of amazing times flooding though my mind. Hasta que nos veamos
I worked with Will on snow and at the pool at the Utah Olympic Park. He was a delight to be around; his positivity is the first thing I think of when I hear his name. He was a great coach and always seemed to have a really easy time keeping things fun for his athletes and his fellow coaches.
I remember being excited hearing about him making progress after his injury. I've been following him on Instagram, watching him ski and bike again. It was amazing seeing him come back to those sports after what he went through, and smiling the whole time! The ski and bike communities and the world as a whole would be a better place if we could show as much kindness and positivity as Will.
I am sorry for your loss. I hope the coming weeks and months go as easily as possible for your family.
What a fabulous missionary. Always admired you Will. I regret not being closer post mission. Have always admired you.
I only got to work with Will for one season at the Deer Valley Ski School office, but I could tell he was such a bright light. He contributed such a positive energy to the whole place and his amazing attitude was an example for us all.
I’m deeply saddened to hear of Will’s passing. I was blessed to be his Institute teacher, his YSA bishop, and his friend. He was the best! Way to climb, Will!!!
I have always admired Will's determination to accomplish difficult things. He will continue to have an inspiring influence in my life.
I just want to Say I'm sorry and I love you. I still have a Book of Mormón Will gave me as a present with his trstimony in it. I'm grateful for his friendship. I give thanks to God for letting me get to know Will when he served here in Argentina. He is a special and incredible friend I will always love. Hugs for you beautiful family. Los quiero mucho!
I instructed with Will at Deer Valley and I will truly miss joking with him. I found it amazing the his determination brought him back from such an accident.
He will truly be missed at DeerValley.
My condolences to his family.
We skied with Will many times at Deer Valley and have very fond memories with him. He was a wonderful teacher. Sending our love and prayers to your family.
Will started at Deer Valley the same year I did, he was always respectful, kind and humble. Traits we do not see often! God be with you until we meet again
I knew Will as a missionary and only remember good things about him. There are certain people everybody wants to know and get along with, and that was definitely Elder Gibbs. You'll be missed, Will!
Our hearts go out to the wonderful Gibb family at this difficult time. We are so very sorry for your loss. You are a tight and loving family that we have always admired and loved. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all, that you may be comforted and sustained. ❤️
Mi más gran sentido pésame a toda la familia de un gran amigo y ejemplo de amabilidad y sencillez hasta siempre hermano se que Dios Nuestro Padre Celestial te tiene a su lado
Our family is so sad to hear the news of Will’s passing. He was such an amazing person. He was so kind, gentle, fun, and generous. We have been using him for years as a ski instructor for our son Leo. We just requested him again a couple of weeks ago to be Leo’s instructor this winter. I was wondering why it took Will so long to respond yes. He was always quick to respond to our ski request. We were devastated to hear the news. Leo was looking forward to seeing Will again this winter.
Not only was Will a great ski instructor, but he was a great mentor. He was so optimistic and positive. He also made sure my son was safe at all times. Will took so much time to create a super high quality video along with amazing music for my son after every visit to Deer Valley. No other instructor on the mountain makes videos the way the Will does. He put so much time and effort into it. I would love to share some videos that Will made to his family. My email is email@example.com if you would like some videos sent to you. They are a gift we will treasure forever. Our family and Leo especially, will never forget the incredible Will Gibbs. He was a gift to all.
The Coulter Family
I knew Will in Argentina as a missionary. I met him in my first area, and he was so quiet and kind and always had a smile. He was a friendly welcome to a new place and way of life. I know the Lord loves him. He now gets to serve again.