Rohda Evelyn Hugar Gibson, a Vandalia native, recently received the 2012 Spirit of Excellence Award from the Collinsville, Ill., Chamber of Commerce.
Gibson was born and raised in Vandalia and currently lives in Collinsville, where she taught music for 35 years.
She is also an active vocalist, organist, and pianist at area Collinsville churches. Gibson began taking piano lessons when she was eight years old.
She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in vocal music from the St. Louis Institute of Music in 1941.
She then married Harry Gibson and settled in Collinsville, Ill. They had one child, Debbie Juhl.
After retiring from the Collinsville School District, Gibson started her second career as an accompanist with the Collinsville Music Makers in 1991.
She became director of the group in 2000, of which performs at local clubs, churches, assisted living residences, and community events. She donated a piano to a local nursing home.
The Collinsville Music Makers also collect personal items for those serving overseas in the military.
At 92 years old, Gibson has no plans to retire.
“Our lives are tremendously enhanced because she hasn’t,” said members of the Collinsville Chamber of Commerce. “It is with great pride and admiration that we proudly introduce the 2012 Spirit of Excellence Award to Rhoda Gibson.
According to the Collinsville Chamber of Commerce, the Spirit of Excellence Award is given to area men and women who contribute to the community through achievements in the areas of arts, architecture, business, communications, education, entertainment, government, law, medicines, social services, sports, volunteerism, and other areas vital to the quality of Collinsville life.