Royal Oak City Commissioner Kim Gibbs Dead of Seizure

Royal Oak City Commissioner Kim Gibbs Dead of Seizure

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 20, 2020)

Royal Oak, MI- The City of Royal Oak announced Thursday that City Commissioner Kim Gibbs died of a seizure.  A press release from the city stated:

“It is with heavy hearts and sadness that we report that Commissioner Kim Gibbs passed away today. We ask for your prayers for Kim, her family, and her friends during this difficult time.

“These past few months have been very difficult and stressful for Kim, and her health suffered as a result. Her legacy, though, will be the positive way she touched our lives, with her upbeat attitude and passion for helping people.

“On Saturday, August 1st, Kim was in an automobile accident. The accident was severe enough to total Kim’s vehicle. Kim initially reported merely being shaken up by the accident. However, by the following Tuesday, Kim no longer was responding to text messages from loved ones. On Wednesday morning, Kim’s mother was concerned when she could not reach her.

“As Kim lived alone, her mother went to Kim’s home to check on her. She found Kim lying unconscious and called for paramedics. Kim was transported to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. She never regained consciousness. Whether the seizure Kim suffered was due to the accident or other health concerns is presently unknown.”

Gibbs was first elected to the city commission in November of 2017 and had lived in the city since 2002.  Among her passions was the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market, supporting historical organizations, and her involvement with Royal Oak Unity church.  She was an attorney with a focus on real estate and business transactions and a graduate of Michigan State University.

“Kim was a member of Unity of Royal Oak and one of our Prayer Partners,” said Unity Reverand Ric Beattie on the City’s Facebook page.  “She had a huge heart and was deeply passionate about Royal Oak. Our love, condolences, thoughts and prayers are with her family.”

Although City Commission positions are non-partisan, she and Randy LeVasseur are known as the two conservatives on the Commission, and often the only dissenting votes on various topics.  Gibbs made headlines after attending a protest in Lansing called “Operation Gridlock” in defiance of Stay Home, Stay Safe orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Fellow Commissioners called for her resignation and voted to censure her.  She did not resign, even after next being caught shoplifting.  Gibbs remained proud of her participation in the protest, and retained a law firm to sue the City on her behalf due to the censure.  Just prior to her death, Gibbs was in the process of running for the County Commission seat against Democrat Dave Woodward.

“Kim was a good friend who lived her life with a positive attitude. She lit up any room that she entered with a smile and something kind to say,” said LeVasseur.  “She also was a dedicated public servant, who had a passion for helping people. When residents had concerns, Kim was the commissioner most likely to return their call and to meet with them, and look for a solution. Our city will miss her for all that she did as a commissioner. I will miss her dearly as a friend.

The Royal Oak City Commission is expected to appoint a resident to serve in the vacancy.  According to the City Charter ” A vacancy on the City Commission shall be filled by appointment by a majority of the remaining members of the Commission and a vacancy in any other elective office shall be filled by appointment by the Commission. Such appointee shall hold office until the next biennial municipal election, at which election a successor shall be elected for the unexpired term of the person in whose office the vacancy occurs, beginning the following third Monday in November.”

This story will be updated with more information as it becomes available. If you would like to share any positive memories or photos of Gibbs, please send to editor@oc115.com.

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