Dale and Walter Gibson have been serving the citizens of Bulloch County in one form or another for over 45 years. They met in Swainsboro, GA, in 1978 and after getting married, moved to Statesboro to begin their careers as educators. Mrs. Dale taught math for 10 years at Statesboro High School and 20 years at Georgia Southern. Mr. Walter taught vocational agriculture and forestry for 30 years.
Retirement from teaching hasn’t slowed this happy pair down. Mrs. Dale spends most of her days at Open Hearts Community Mission. She has been working as a volunteer there since it first opened. She works with residents to teach budgeting and finance skills. She loves to see residents at Open Hearts successfully complete the program.
Walter Gibson served as County Commissioner
Shortly after Mr. Walter retired from education, he made the decision to run for a County Commissioner seat. Mrs. Dale stated, “Walter has always been interested in County Government, and he has such a big heart for rural Bulloch County. He thought that being County Commissioner was the perfect way that he could continue to serve and give back.”
In December 2022, Mr. Walter Gibson retired from his second career as County Commissioner after 22 years. Richard John Stapleton shares about Mr. Walter and his retirement celebration. “Walter told me in the reception line before dinner he had run in fourteen elections for his post, counting primaries, having run unopposed six times. He never lost one.”
Mr. Stapleton stated, “I told him I remembered a get-together for him a few years before I retired at Georgia Southern in 2005 at a local pub in Statesboro where I told him I was all for him as a commissioner. A Republican, knowing I am Independent, he said he could care less whether someone is Republican, Democrat, or Independent.”
“At the dinner,” Mr. Stapleton continued, “we enjoyed seeing and talking with some old friends and associates and the catered dinner was delicious. Shrimp and grits, chicken in mushroom sauce, banana pudding, and sweet tea. I may have been the oldest one there, at eighty-two.”
Speakers share about Walter
“Walter’s daughter, Gina, a physical therapist with a doctor’s degree, introduced seven speakers, including three county commissioners, the chairman of the county commissioners, the county manager, her husband, and Walter, who told short stories with humorous anecdotes. But they all said the same thing: what a great job Walter had done,” stated Mr. Stapleton.
He continued, “One of the speakers pointed out that Walter had participated in probably about four hundred formal meetings doing county business during his career. Someone said he would even drive to the residences of citizens to see first hand what it was they were complaining about to try and get it fixed. They said he spent countless hours in the county commissioner’s office holding court with individuals and small groups about road problems on his own hook.”
"None of the speakers mentioned the Republican or Democratic Party. It was all about Walter and what a great job he had done or his fellow citizens."Richard John Stapleton
“Walter is the only politician of any stripe for whom my wife Debbye and I displayed a vote-for sign in our front yard, in a subdivision in Walter’s precinct of the county, having lived there for over thirty years,” he stated. “We voted for Walter Gibson every time we could,” Mr. Stapleton concluded.
Dale and Walter share about retirement
Mrs. Dale said, “it didn’t matter who it was or what they wanted, if someone called Walter, he would always take the time to answer their questions and help however he could.”
"It has been a fun ride and the association with people in Bulloch and across the state is what I will miss the most."Walter Gibson - Retired County Commissioner.
Dale and Walter Gibson are both huge Georgia Bulldog and Georgia Southern Eagle fans, and they love to travel. Both Dale and Walter are long time members of Pittman Park UMC in Statesboro. Mrs. Dale enjoys teaching a fellowship Sunday School class.
"I will take retirement one day at a time. I look forward to staying busy with my grandchildren, traveling more and spending some more time on my farm. I will just take it one day at a time."Walter Gibson - Retired County Commissioner and Educator
Both Mrs. Dale and Mr. Walter are enjoying life with their two children Gina and Charles. Mrs. Dale stated, “We are especially happy to spend as much time as we can with our five grandchildren.”
Thank you both for a lifetime of serving the citizens of Bulloch County from your friends at Grice Connect.