William Bruce Gibson, aka Wild Bill!
Beloved husband, father, papa, brother and the world’s biggest BYU Cougar fan.
Bill died peacefully in his home on March 8, 2023, surrounded by his wife, Valerie and four children-Natalie, Landon, Sean and Ashlie. He was 71 years young.
Bill was born in Palo Alto, California on October 10, 1951. As a young boy, his bright red hair matched his adventurous personality.
He graduated in 1969 from Mira Loma High School, in Sacramento, California. After graduating high school, Bill moved to Deeth, Nevada to work on a ranch. It was there he received his mission call to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the France-Switzerland mission.
He served his mission from 1970-1972. As a missionary he would dress in his cowboy gear and lasso the French kids in the town square. This is where the nickname Wild Bill was born.
After his mission, he attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He met his sweetheart Valerie at the Deseret Towers cafeteria on campus in January of 1973. They were engaged in June and married November 20, 1973 in the Salt Lake Temple.
Bill was blessed with an entrepreneurial spirit. He is known for opening up the very first tubular water slide in Utah, located in Cedar City. Inspired by his time spent in France during his mission, he opened his first restaurant in 1975. Le Rendezvous was located in Trolley Square, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Not long after he opened up another French restaurant, named La France in Provo, Utah, followed by a Mexican restaurant, Panchitos.
It was during this time, Bill and Valerie started their family, being blessed with their first daughter, followed by two sons and another daughter. Being a father was one of his greatest joys in life.
In 1987, Bill and Valerie moved their family to Chico, California. Throughout Northern California, Bill opened up multiple Subway Sandwich and Little Caesar’s Pizza franchises.
Bill lived a life full of service both in the community as well as in his church. In his spare time, Bill loved to coach basketball at Pleasant Valley High school and Durham High school.
His greatest service was with the youth of the church, serving with the Young Men and Young Single Adults. He especially focused on motivating youth to prepare to serve church missions.
Despite living in California, Bill and Valerie have been BYU football season ticket holders since 1974 and have only ever missed a handful of games. It was not uncommon for them to pile all their children in the van, drive all night to see a home game, turn around and drive back home.
Bill and Valerie moved back to Utah 2008 to further develop the Bajio Mexican restaurant franchise. He furthered his love of sports by being involved as the President of the Utah Blaze arena football team. Along with Valerie, you would find Bill attending any and all events that their thirteen grandchildren in Utah and Arizona were participating in. During the summer, they would plan grandparent week taking their grandchildren on many fun outdoor adventures.
Bill is known as being a strong and courageous soul which has been evident after his diagnosis of Pulmonary Fibrosis/Interstitial Lung disease in which he received a double lung transplant as a means to a cure. During his 6 month hospitalization, he impacted and inspired many lives with his innate ability to find strength amidst many setbacks. Many thanks to his wonderful medical team.
He is survived by his wife Valerie Gibson. Daughter: Natalie (Shawn) Prinkey. Son: Landon (Sarah) Gibson, Son: Sean (Emily) Gibson. Daughter: Ashlie (Kenny) Farnsworth. Siblings: Jennifer Papworth and Judi Abraham and thirteen incredible grandchildren (Emily, Kali, Parker, Addilyn, Brennan, Sophia, Mackenzie, Ethan, Chase, Ellie, Dean, Emma and Emberlie). Preceded in death by his brother Robert Gibson and his parents Ray and Kay Gibson.
Sunday, March 12th, 2023, 6-8pm
Monday, March 13th, 2023, 9:30-10:30am
Monday , March 13th, 2023, 11:00am
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
850 North 900 East,
American Fork UT 84003
Immediately following the funeral services
Orem City Cemetery
1520 North 800 East
Orem, Utah 84097
Flowers can be sent to:
8090 S State St
Midvale, UT 84047
If you would like to donate in lieu of flowers please consider:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints general missionary fund
The funeral will be live-streamed online at the following link: