Obituary: Kathryn Gibson Vickers

Beloved wife, teacher, traveler, nurturing friend

Kathryn Gibson Vickers was born in Texas on April 29, 1944 to George and Louise Gibson. The oldest of four children, she moved to Upland at an early age and attended Upland schools. Kathryn had a love for learning, reading, writing, teaching and helping others. She attended Chaffey College and the University of Redlands, where she earned her teaching credential.

Always interested in travel, and with a keen desire to learn more about Asian culture and Japan, she moved to Japan to teach in American schools that were run by the United States Department of Defense. At Doshisha Middle School in Kyoto, she tutored 7th grade girls and became lifelong friends with her students.

She traveled throughout Europe and Eastern Europe during breaks, but returned to Upland each summer, eventually settling down to teach at Alta Loma Junior High School, and residing in Claremont with her “four-footed furry soulmate, a beautiful Australian Shepherd named Kuma,” her family shared.

Soon after settling back in the United States she returned to school, studying counseling at University of La Verne. At the same time, she reunited with a friend from Upland High School, Randall Vickers. This friendship then led to a courtship, and after Randall’s third marriage proposal, she finally accepted. They were wed October 5, 1985 and began a life together lasting more than 39 years. They traveled, nurtured, and supported many friends who needed their love and care. “They accumulated the love and respect of many, many friends and family members,” her family added. In addition, after their Aussie Kuma died, they extended their love to Trampy the terrier, and then to brother and sister Australian shepherds Ozzie and Diva.

After a brief stay in La Verne, the couple settled into their home in Padua Hills, with a front row view of the San Bernardino Mountains. “This beautiful view, the love and encouragement of family and friends, and her two beautiful Aussies, helped sustain Kathryn through a cancer battle lasting over three years,” her family said. “Ozzie passed away during Covid, and Diva then passed after a long illness, during which she was nursed with care and patience by both Kathryn and Randy.

Her battle with cancer was intense and continuous from December 2019 through May 3, 2024. She died early in the morning on May 4.

“Our dear and sweet Kathryn leaves behind a legacy of caring, compassion, and love,” her family said. “She leaves her beloved husband, Randy, her sister, Jan, her nieces, nephews and grand nieces and nephews, as well as many friends who dearly love her.”

An intimate gravesite service is planned for the near future, with a celebration of her life at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Aussie Rescue of San Diego at


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