Leonard Gilbert (“Gib”) Vance, 77, of Freelandville, Indiana, entered the presence of the Lord on the morning of Thursday, September 9, 2021, with family by his side.
On November 17, 1943, Gib was born to the late Norval Harris and Martha Robertine (Gross) Vance in Mariemont, Ohio. The family moved to Knox County in 1955, and he graduated from Freelandville High School in 1962 and attended classes at Vincennes University and became a structural steel draftsman.
Gib wore his uniform of suspenders, a blue oxford shirt, and jeans well into retirement. He worked as a draftsman at Indiana Bridge in Muncie, Stone City Steel in Bedford, and as the owner of Merit Engineering in Freelandville. His steel detailing work can be seen throughout Indiana, including in the roof of Lucas Oil Stadium, the dome of West Baden Springs Hotel, and in handrails at schools, hospitals, and hotels throughout Indiana. He enjoyed trains, automotive repair, movies of all kinds, Christmas and shopping for those in need, and a good ice cream cone.
He was also actively involved in his community. He was a member of FBC Bicknell. As a founding member and first President of the Freelandville Regional Sewer District, he helped bring Freelandville’s wastewater system to environmentally safe levels. In the late 1990s, he worked with a group of parents in the North Knox Schools to introduce soccer teams as an extracurricular activity, a sport still played today in the school. In addition, he was a member of the Freelandville High School Basketball team and FFA. Gib was also a 50-year Master Mason of Masonic Lodge #616 in Elnora and active in Junior Achievement.
Gib is survived by his wife of 36 years, Barbara (Boyd) Vance, and eight children, Gib (Cindy) Vance, Jr. of Mooresville, Dawn (Mike) Magdycz of Fishers, William (Rachel) Vance of Freelandville, Martha (Owen) Thomson of Freelandville, and Dennis, Paula, Lori, and Jennifer Vance; 5 grandchildren Heather (Nick) Davis, Nate and Aleris Crum, Ares Ramos, and Stuart Vance Thomson; step-grandson Michael Magdycz, Jr.; 2 great-grandchildren Remi Davis and Spenser Crum; siblings Billie (Bernard) Sager and Thomas Vance; nephew Larry (Becky) Bland, and several other nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his former wives and their children, Joyce (Smith) Neal, Gib Jr., and Dawn, and Jeannie (Lawyer) Vance, Lori, Jennifer, Dennis, and Paula.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Karen Bland, and grand-dog Medic.
Visitation will be at FBC Bicknell, 317 Washington Street, Bicknell, IN, on Sunday, September 12, 2021, from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM and Monday, September 13 at 10:00 AM until the service at 11:00 AM Burial will be in Freelandville Christian Church Cemetery following a graveside Masonic Service.
The family requests that visitors wear masks to the visitation and funeral.
In addition to flowers, donations may be made in his name to FBC Bicknell’s Love Lights a Tree program, which provides Christmas gifts to children in need in Northern Knox County. Finally, the family wishes to thank Good Samaritan Hospital and Hospice, and Freelandville Community Home. They hope you will enjoy an ice cream with your family in memory of Gib. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.fredrickandson.com. Fredrick and Son McClure-Utt Funeral Homes Bicknell Chapel is honored to assist the family of Gib.