Remembering Maureen Gibson

If you think the consumer electronics industry could use more female representation today, imagine what it was like back in 1966 when Maureen Gibson joined her husband Mervyn in starting Pelham Electronics, what is known today as Gibbys Electronic Supermarket and run by Merv and Maureen’s son Duane Gibson.  While Maureen didn’t participate in the day-to-day operation of the retail business, she was active and a presence making her one of the earliest women to be involved in consumer tech.

Maureen Gibson with her son Duane, President and CEO of Gibbys Electronic Supermarket, that started as Pelham Electronics in 1966

Maureen was born in London, England in 1937, but was Irish at heart, with her family roots in Sligo, Ireland. She survived bomb shelters and orphanages during World War II and described playing in bombed out buildings as a child during the war. In June of 1951, her family made their way across the Atlantic to land in Newfoundland, eventually making their way to Welland, Ontario. 

Maureen began her career at Bell Canada in 1956. She met her dancing partner Merv not long after and began their family together. Throughout her life, her qualities of strength, generosity, and unwavering empathy to others were constantly displayed; always with a bright smile to even beyond her immediate family to encompass a wide network of friends and acquaintances. Maureen was always the life of the party during theme nights at her golf club and was the party planner for various business events and retirements for friends and coworkers.

Maureen Gibson

Maureen, a pioneer working full time while also raising her two children, retired after a very fruitful career of 35 years at Bell, however retirement did not hold her back. Since 1992, Maureen became a continuous fixture at Gibbys Electronic Supermarket that is still after all these years, a family run business. She would make her daily rounds to get to know all the staff on a personal level, decorating the store for Christmas and be responsible for the daily runs to the bank with her “grand-dog” Leda. They were a pair at the bank and the staff always had treats ready for Leda. In addition to helping at Gibbys, Maureen volunteered at Linhaven Long Term Care, receiving community recognition for her 25 years of service. She also volunteered for over 10 years supporting Meals on Wheels. 

Mervyn and Maureen Gibson

She was notoriously known for the colour pink, golfing at Peach Tree Golf Course, playing Euchre with her cards gang, and cooking family dinners that had to feature roast beef and ham with perfectly whipped mashed potatoes.

Maureen was a devoted grandmother, sharing her fondness for Tom Jomes, Celine Dion and that “Old Time Rock & Roll” as she drove them to the yearly cottage getaways. “Nanushka” as her four grandchildren nicknamed her, loved the time she spent selflessly as they grew. She was blessed to have five great-grandchildren, who she was very proud of and brought much joy to her later in life.

Maureen Gibson with son Duane and his partner Moira McCreadie

We are saddened to learn that Maureen Janet Gibson died on Thursday March 14th, 2024, in her 87th year, peacefully and surrounded by her family. She was predeceased by her husband of 56 years, Mervyn Gibson, her parents Patrick and Kathleen O’Brien, and survived by her brother Edward O’Brien and sister Barabara Jackson. She was a much-loved mother to Debra Stocker and Duane Gibson.

Wifi Hifi sends our sympathy to the extended “Gibbys” family and join in celebrating Maureen’s pioneering sensibility and her contributions to the early days of consumer electronics retailing in Canada.